Appointment of the National Indigenous Voice Co-Design Group

Release Date: 
15 January 2020
Media release

The journey towards an Indigenous voice has taken another step today with the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, announcing the membership of the National Co-design Group.

The Group will be co-chaired by senior Indigenous leader Dr Donna Odegaard AM who will be joined by 15 members to develop models for a national voice to government.

The National Co-design Group will also be co-chaired by a senior official from the National Indigenous Australians Agency to coordinate intersections with existing work and ensure any proposed models will work within established structures.

“Indigenous Australians want their voices heard at all levels of Government and want to help shape the policies and programs that affect their lives,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This group will work on options to have Indigenous voices heard on the national stage and take a model to Indigenous leaders, communities and stakeholders around the country to refine.”

“They will complement the work of the soon to be announced Local & Regional Co-Design Group to bring about real and lasting change for not just Indigenous Australians, but for our entire nation.”

“The group will be assisted by the Senior Advisory Group, co-chaired by Professor Dr Marcia Langton AM and Professor Tom Calma AO, who will continue to advise and guide the process and keep it moving forward.

“Dr Odegaard is a welcome addition to this process and brings extensive experience in both the private and public sectors as well as a valuable network and a lifelong commitment to campaigning for the benefit of Indigenous people to advance this work,” Minister Wyatt said.

Co-Chair Dr Odegaard said, “we have an unprecedented opportunity through the formation of the Morrison Government’s Co-Design process to bring together the many voices of our people to express who we are, what we want, what we need and the direction we choose for the future for the benefit of all our people and the Nation”.

“We cannot expect to succeed in changing our future as Indigenous Australians if we do not bring each other along. Working together towards the same goal, within the same framework that we establish, gives us greater chance of success but we must expect hard work, determination and dedication.”

“We can do it, we just have to be genuinely committed. I have been committed to this for most of my life and I’m certain most of us are”.

The full membership of the National Co-Design Group is:

  • Dr Donna Odegaard AM
  • Mr Jamie Lowe
  • Mr Rodney Dillon
  • Prof Gracelyn Smallwood AM
  • Mr Richard Weston
  • Prof Cheryl Kickett-Tucker
  • Ms Katrina Fanning PSM
  • The Hon Jeff Kennett  AC
  • Mr Damian Griffis
  • Mr Steve Wanta Patrick Jampijinpa
  • Ms Fiona McLeod SC
  • Mr Marcus Stewart
  • Ms Kristal Kinsela-Christie
  • The Hon Fred Chaney AO
  • Mr Joseph Elu AO
  • Ms Zell Dodd

More information about the Indigenous voice co-design process is available on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website, www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-voice.