The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) was established on 1 July 2019, and is responsible for Whole-of-Government policy development, program design, and service delivery for Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people.
The NIAA has more than 1200 staff across Australia and had operating expenses of $271.8 million in 2019-20. It receives most of its ICT services under a shared services arrangement with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, but is building in-house data, analytical and data visualisation capabilities.
The agency serves indigenous Australians in remote areas, and employees a small team of geospatial analysts, as well as data analysts to support policy development.
It has commenced trialling digital and data literacy training and can vary employment agreements to address skill shortages and retain talented staff, including study support.
It is leveraging two public service professional networks to assist with recruiting staff. These were established as a result of the 2019 Independent Review of the APS and are the Digital Professional Stream (April 2020) and Data Professional Stream (September 2020).
Former Navy chief, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs (who retired as Vice Chief of the Defence Force in 2018), and who was recently confirmed as the incoming the Secretary of the Department of Social Services (DSS) is the inaugural CEO of the NIAA.
The above information was provided by the NIAA to the Senate, in response to written questions from South Australian Senator Rex Patrick. The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, provided answers to the Senator Patrick’s questions on behalf of the NIAA.