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Sam Jeffries

First Assistant Commissioner, First Nations Systems Lead

Australian Public Service Commission

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Sam Jeffries is a proud Mooraworri/Wiradjuri man from Brewarrina NSW, and he has spent most of his working life in and across Western NSW. Sam has had over four decades working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, starting out in the public service in the early 1980’s. He has held positions at the local, regional and national level.

Sam has held a number of leadership positions through his career, most notably in the Murdi Paaki region in Western NSW where he led regional governance arrangements for 20 years, firstly 10 years as ATSIC Regional Council Chairman and 10 years as Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly Chairman. Sam was with ATSIC from start to finish.

He was a director of the Indigenous Land Corporation (now Indigenous Land and Sea Council) for 10 years, 8 years as Deputy Chairperson and was instrumental in the purchase of Yulara (Ayers Rock Resort) and setting up the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern NSW. He was selected by his peers as inaugural Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples in 2010.

Sam joined the Indigenous Affairs Group in Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2016 as a Special Advisor on Regional Governance, as well as early work on the development and refreshing the Close the Gap targets. In 2018 he relocated to Darwin and in 2019 was appointed as Group Manager of Central Group in the National Indigenous Australians Agency. He has joined the Australian Public Service Commission as First Assistant Commissioner in the inaugural First Nations Systems Lead role, to drive policy thinking under APS Reform, building cultural capability of the APS and genuine partnership with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People.