Northern Territory Emergency Response Review Board

Media release – Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs – 06/06/2008

NT Emergency Response Review Board

Chair of the Halls Creek Project Management Committee, Peter Yu, will chair the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) Review Board.

The Board has been established to conduct an independent and transparent review of the NTER to assess what is working, whether the measures are effective and their impact to date on individuals and communities. The Board will consult widely and seek public submissions.

1. examine evidence and assess the overall progress of the NTER in improving the safety and wellbeing of children and laying the basis for a sustainable and better future for residents of remote communities in the Northern Territory (NT);
2. consider what is and isn’t working and whether the current suite of NTER measures will deliver the intended results, whether any unintended consequences have emerged and whether other measures should be developed; and
3. in relation to each NTER measure, make an assessment of its effects to date, and recommend any required changes to improve each measure and monitor performance.

Mr Yu has achieved important outcomes in Halls Creek, including improved infrastructure and housing.

Former Chair of the NSW Aboriginal Child Sexual Assault Taskforce, Marcia Ella Duncan, and former Australian Electoral Commissioner, Bill Gray AM, will also be on the Review Board.

An independent expert group will support the Review Board. The group will be comprised of 11 experts drawn from public policy, health, child welfare, legal and economic development fields.

The NTER Board will:

1. examine evidence and assess the overall progress of the NTER in improving the safety and wellbeing of children and laying the basis for a sustainable and better future for residents of remote communities in the Northern Territory (NT);
2. consider what is and isn’t working and whether the current suite of NTER measures will deliver the intended results, whether any unintended consequences have emerged and whether other measures should be developed; and
3. in relation to each NTER measure, make an assessment of its effects to date, and recommend any required changes to improve each measure and monitor performance.

The Government is determined to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and families in remote Northern Territory communities and is committed to an evidence-based approach to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Promoting economic participation, improving health and education outcomes and better engaging Indigenous people in developing solutions are key to the Government’s plan for closing the gap.

The NTER Review Board and the Expert Group will be supported by a secretariat which will provide project management support.

The NTER Review Board is expected to provide the Australian Government with a final report by 30 September 2008.

Expert Group

The Expert Group will support the Review Board. It will meet two or three times over the course of the Review, and individual members will work with the Review Board on particular issues as the Review progresses.

Donna Ah Chee (NT)
Deputy Director of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (health care service), Alice Springs.

Michael Berto (NT)
CEO of Roper Gulf Shire Council and Chair of the Northern Territory Indigenous Housing Advisory Board, Katherine.

Vicki Gillick (NT)
Coordinator of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council, Alice Springs.

Ronald Lami Lami (NT)
Chairperson of the West Arnhem Shire Transition Committee and resident of Warruwi.

Mavis Malbunka (NT)
Vice President of the Ntaria Council (Hermannsburg) and a finalist in the Northern Territory Australian of the Year 2006 – the citation for which reads ‘She saw the need for her community to provide a safe place for young people with inhalant abuse issues and she did something about it.’ For the past two years, Ms Malbunka has cared for up to a dozen youngsters at a time at her family’s outstation.

David Ross (NT)
Director of the Central Land Council, Alice Springs

Dr John Taylor (ACT)
Deputy Director and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University, Canberra.

Dr Mark Wenitong (QLD)
Senior Medical Officer at Apunipima Cape York Health Council and past president and founding member of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association.

Neil Westbury (NSW)
Associate at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University (ANU) and a member of the Indigenous Community Governance Project Advisory Committee (ANU). Mr Westbury was previously Chief Executive of Reconciliation Australia, and a senior public servant with both the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.

Ann Rebgetz (NT)
Co-Principal of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Wadeye.

Tobias Nganbe (NT)
Co-Principal of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Wadeye.