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First Peoples to All Peoples Conference videos now freely available

14 June 2023

News and media


First Nations 2023 Conference, First Peoples to All Peoples banner

ANZSOG’s First Peoples to All Peoples Conference in Meanjin, Brisbane in March brought together over 800 in-person attendees (plus 300 online), for three days of listening to First Nations speakers and hearing stories of success. 

For those unable to attend, ANZSOG has now made video recordings of the opening addresses, key panel sessions, plenaries and yarning sessions available on the ANZSOG website for everyone to use and share. 

This will be a permanent record of the rich debates and discussions held during the event, and a great resource for anyone interested in First Nations policy, particularly the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and its four Priority Reforms in Australia and the reforms outlined in the New Zealand Public Service Act 2020. 

Speakers featured include: 

  • Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand ministers for Indigenous affairs, Linda Burney and Kelvin Davis 
  • National Indigenous Australians Agency CEO Jody Broun 
  • Productivity Commission Commissioner Romlie Mokak 
  • National Iwi Leaders Group, Lead Data Technician Kirikowhai Mikaere 
  • National Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisations CEO Donnella Mills 
  • Lowitja Institute CEO Janine Mohamed 
  • Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships CEO Chris Sarra  
  • National Iwi Leaders Group Co-chair Rahui Papa  

They discuss challenges and successes related to the four priority reforms: formal partnerships and shared decision-making; building the community-controlled sector; transforming government organisations, and shared access to information and data. 

The video below is just one of 24 available and covers a plenary session on the theme of Transforming Mainstream Government Organisations with panellists Letitia Hope, Deputy CEO Policy and Programs at the National Indigenous Australians Agency, and Kararaina Calcott-Cribb, Deputy Chief Executive – Tumuaki Te Kāhui Māori Housing. 

Both speakers explored the challenges of changing systems built on racism, to ones that could work with First Nations as equals. This challenge was seen to be the business of all public servants, in all agencies, not to be left to First Nations or the agencies tasked with delivering services specifically to First Nations. Under-representation of First Nations in key positions was part of the problem, but responsibility had to be shared by all senior leaders. 

Ms Hope said that systems and agencies in the Commonwealth Government acknowledge there needs to be change, but don’t know how to change. 

“There is a conversation we are having at the senior echelons of the public service about taking responsibility and accountability for this discussion,” she said. 

“We have put some pretty serious structures in place to make sure that secretaries are deeply accountable, not just for their individual targets but for the Priority Reforms. It is not enough anymore to say we need to do things differently, and not be accountable for doing things differently.” 

“Delivering change through the National Agreement on Closing the Gap is a daily decision, and the responsibility of every public servant that will take huge personal courage across the board. 

“We need to have a truth-telling discussion about how you drive these daily decisions – we all know that culture, behaviour and mindset happens one person at a time, in every interaction from trainees to secretaries. How do I think differently about my job every day?” 

She said that public servants needed to be disruptors who created space for innovation – it was not enough to just pull one lever, they needed to understand the entire system that they were in. 

“We need to ‘celebrate black excellence. We have to show it and demonstrate it, leverage it and build on it.” 

Ms Calcott-Cribb, said that public service leaders played a huge role in transforming organisations, and that the long-term for Aotearoa needed to be a world where government did not have to lead everything, but there was true partnership between iwi and the Crown. 

She spoke of the development of the Tumuaki Te Kāhui Māori Housing and the increase in both funding and Māori involvement in housing projects. 

“Our business is not led by us entirely, we have handed some of the leadership of some of that work entirely to Māori to show us the way. You can be a disruptor in this place, and I’d encourage us to actually disrupt some of the conversations that we are having and encourage you to do that every day. You do not leave who you are and your cultural heritage at the door, you need to make it front and centre every day.”