PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Canberra: I rise to speak on one particular aspect of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013—that is, the continuing income management as part of the Cape York Welfare Reform trial, which is a cost of $4.2 million over two years. This is one measure among a number of measures. I have a particular interest in this measure for two reasons. Firstly, I was intricately involved in helping to design the Cape York Welfare Reform trial as deputy director of Noel Pearson's Cape York Institute.
The Hon Alan Tudge MP
Alan Tudge was elected to the Australian Parliament in 2010, representing the seat of Aston. Following the 2013 Federal election he was appointed to the role of Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with a primary focus on Indigenous affairs.
He has been a member of the House of Representatives Employment and Education Committee and was Chairman of the Coalition’s Taskforce into Online Higher Education.
Prior to entering parliament, Alan spent most of his career in business, including several years with the Boston Consulting Group in Australia, Malaysia and New York, and running his own advisory business. He was also Senior Adviser to former Education Minister Brendan Nelson and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
He also spent several years as the Deputy Director of Noel Pearson’s Cape York Institute where he oversaw the design of the Welfare Reform program as well as a number of other initiatives.
His experience with Cape York began in 2000 where he was the first corporate secondee into remote Indigenous Australia. Jawon which has now sent over 1000 secondees from Australia’s leading companies.
Alan has had a long term commitment to improving our education systems. As well as his work in parliament, Alan is a co-founder of Teach for Australia, a national non-profit which supports top graduates into disadvantaged schools.
He was born and educated in the eastern outskirts of Melbourne where his parents were new immigrants to Australia. His first jobs included apple and potato picking, factory laboring, bar work and sales assistant at Myer Dandenong.
He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts from Melbourne University (where he was Student President) and an MBA from Harvard University.
He is a keen sportsman and proud North Melbourne supporter.
He lives in Wantirna South with his wife, Teri, and their two daughters.
The Hon Alan Tudge MP is the Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister.
ELEANOR HALL: Back home now and the Coalition Parliamentary Secretary in charge of reviewing Indigenous employment has invoked the US president, Barack Obama, in calling for a shift in approach on the issue.
Alan Tudge says the focus in Indigenous employment is too often on the barriers preventing people from working.
But he told Lexi Metherell that it should be on a more positive "yes we can" creed.
Labor had big promises with good intentions, but made little headway on indigenous employment. It was telling that Jenny Macklin, in her summary of her government's achievements, mainly spoke about delivery of public housing to Indigenous communities, not employment.
In Macklin's critique of the Howard government, the supposed killer line was that the Coalition had built only 64 houses in the Northern Territory in 2007, but "we built more than 350" in 2011.
"Yes we can". Barack Obama's slogan in the 2008 election campaign was a masterstroke in changing the mindset from one of problems to shared optimism. The clear intent was to focus on what could be done, not what could not.
This same mindset shift is desperately needed in our collective thinking on Indigenous employment.
More than 1,500 people turned out to attend public consultation meetings across Australia last week as part of the Federal Coalition Government's Review of Indigenous Training and Employment Programmes.
The Review, headed by Mr Andrew Forrest, is inquiring into the employment disparity that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and will provide recommendations on how to better connect unemployed Indigenous Australians with real and sustainable jobs.
I am going to be very brief, and just let me make a few quick points before handing it over to Mr Forrest to host the meeting.
Firstly, we are all here because we are interested in Indigenous Employment.
We know that if people have got a reasonable education and have a job that everything else is so much easier.
There’s so much dignity, there’s empowerment, there is economic independence which comes with working and holding a job.
But we also know that too many of our first Australian’s do not have work.
Subjects: CHOGM, Indonesia, Debt Ceiling
REPORTER: Now at CHOGM, the Prime Minister very firmly said that he would put asylum seeker boats as focal points for his visit. Is that the most pressing issue that’s facing Australia, with regard to our region?
Subjects: Indigenous Jobs and Training Review
Subjects: Holden, Carbon tax, child care.
INTRO: Holden says no decision has been made about the company’s future, but the acting Prime Minister wants answers. This is Capital Hill.
Welcome to the program.
STEVEN JONES/ALAN TUDGE: Good to be here.
REPORTER: Can you Alan, firstly, we just heard there from one of your colleagues in the Victorian government with a message for Coalition ministers to stop speculating about Holden. Do you think that message needs to be taken on-board?
Subjects: Indigenous Jobs and Training Review
ALAN TUDGE: We have had fabulous meetings so far. Nearly every single one has been exceptionally well attended. There have probably been over a thousand people to date who have come along and contributed their ideas.
There have been some common themes throughout.