Experience and knowledge in renewed Indigenous Reference Group

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud has today unveiled a refreshed Northern Australia Indigenous Reference Group (IRG).

Six members have been appointed to the renewed IRG and will provide the Australian Government practical and actionable advice on unlocking economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the north.

From across Northern Australia, the group includes Mr Colin Saltmere (Chair), Ms Tara Craigie (NT), Mr Jerome Cubillo (NT), Mr Troy Fraser (QLD), Ms Gillian Mailman (QLD), and Mr Peter Jeffries (WA).

Minister Littleproud said the group will feed their valuable insight and experience directly to him and the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt AM.

“These appointees bring a wealth of expertise and hands on experience spanning a range of industries and sectors, and I am confident in their ability to give us practical advice that we can act on,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up 15 per cent of Northern Australia’s population, and we must support them to in practical and realistic ways to increase business opportunities we know exist in the north and capitalise on their natural assets.

“I’d like to sincerely thank previous members for their hard work and dedication to the economic advancement of Indigenous Australians in the north.”

Minister Wyatt said the renewed group demonstrates another commitment by the Morrison-Joyce Government to Indigenous economic advancement.

“The re-establishment of the Indigenous Reference Group is timely and follows our release of the National Roadmap for Indigenous Skills, Jobs and Wealth Creation last week,” Minister Wyatt said.

“One in six people in Northern Australia are Indigenous – Indigenous participation in the northern economy is therefore essential to increasing productivity, encouraging investment and entrepreneurship.”

Special Envoy for Northern Australia, Queensland Senator Susan McDonald said the Government looked forward to continuing to work with the reference group to deliver more Indigenous jobs and economic prosperity.

“Since being established in 2017, the reference group has worked closely with all levels of government, industry and Indigenous communities to develop tailored policy advice and initiatives,” Senator McDonald said.

“I’ve become familiar with the good work already being done by Colin Saltmere and Troy Fraser, and I share their belief that everyone in Northern Australia can enjoy the benefits and opportunities being created by the Federal Government’s investment in the region.

“I want to thank the outgoing members for their passion and commitment to Indigenous economic development in Northern Australia and look forward to the benefits the new appointees will help us unlock.”

The reference group will focus on opportunities for Indigenous participation and business during implementation of the Australian Government’s plan for the next five years, set out in the recently released Our North, Our Future 2021-2026: Targeted Growth publication.

To view this publication and for more information on the Government’s Northern Australia agenda and investments, visit northernaustralia.gov.au.

Download the National Roadmap for Indigenous Skills, Jobs and Wealth Creation.

Media Contact:

0455 448 985 (Minister Littleproud)
0431 299 518 (Minister Wyatt)
0421 059 187 (Senator McDonald)