Ministerial Statement – OCHRE – A Continuing Conversation
In 2011, the NSW Government and Aboriginal communities started a conversation resulting in OCHRE, our community focused plan for Aboriginal Affairs.
Since then, we have continued the conversation about the issues that matter to Aboriginal people – governance, strengthening language and culture and
supporting young people to positively transition from school into further study, training or employment.
Our approach led the McKell Institute in 2017 to conclude that while other jurisdictions have attempted to co-design, “OCHRE stands alone in its
scale and ambition”.
Just this week, the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW has concluded that “overall OCHRE has been remarkably successful” with
“strong positive recognition in the Aboriginal communities of NSW”.
It is also particularly rewarding to note the implementation of the plan has helped to build trust in the NSW Government’s commitment to Aboriginal communities.
I would like to acknowledge the work of the University of NSW and Chief Investigator Professor Ilan Katz who led this independent evaluation. I would also
like to acknowledge and thank all of the Aboriginal leaders and community members for their time, knowledge and experience, giving this Government
the information needed to grow OCHRE.
This evaluation has been ground breaking in that this Government has supported Aboriginal peoples to be at the centre of decision making – from setting
the criteria to assess success to determining whether or not the reports are published. It is an example of this Government’s commitment to working
differently with Aboriginal peoples in NSW.
I welcome the findings and the recommendation of the OCHRE evaluation reports. Like any evaluation, not only has it highlighted successes but
outlined areas for improvement so that policy and practice can be strengthened. Our policy started with a conversation; our implementation and evaluation
continued the conversation. Our response to the evaluation will be no different to ensure that we have the deep knowledge from Aboriginal people we
need to truly transform the relationship between community and government and to make OCHRE even stronger.
For more information please visit the evaluating implementation page of our website.
The Hon Sarah Mitchell MP
Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Assistant
Minister for Education