|The initiative encourages a localised approach in which agreements will be made according to the issues confronting the community. The process involves a clear articulation of the expectations of all parties and the progress of the agreements will be monitored according to the outcomes the people in the community wish to achieve. With regular feedback the governments will identify the factors which encourage better coordination between agencies in the movement toward breaking down the barriers and affecting cultural change in agencies where work has a particular impact on Indigenous Australians.
The two major Commonwealth elements of the initiative are the formation of the Indigenous Communities Coordination Taskforce (ICCT) and the Secretaries' Group on Indigenous Issues. The ICCT was established to lead the coordination of joint activity across Commonwealth government agencies. It works closely with the Indigenous communities at all levels and with State and Territory governments. It is responsible for monitoring Commonwealth performance, including feedback to and from Indigenous communities. The Taskforce reports directly to the Secretaries' Group.
The Secretaries' Group consists of a number of Departmental Secretaries and the ATSIC CEO who meet monthly to oversee the progress and development of the initiative. In addition, their role is to promote coordination between Commonwealth agencies, oversee development of linkages between Commonwealth and State/Territory programs, and foster cross-portfolio partnerships. Several of the Secretaries ‘sponsor’ an Indigenous community involved in the initiative and are personally involved in ensuring progress is made.
The coordination of the whole of government approach is conducted a the national level by the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (OIPC), which was established within the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA).
The whole of government approach is now the centrepiece of the Federal Government's new approach to service delivery to Indigenous Australians since the abolition of ATSIC. This means that the Government's Indigenous programs are administered by mainstream services but in a way which sees federal, state and local government agencies working in a coordinated and cooperative way.|