About Us

Who we are

About ATSIEB

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB) consists of 7 members.

Each member is elected by the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for 3 years and holds office on a part-time basis. The Chair and Deputy Chair are elected by majority vote of the members.

ATSIEB 2021 to 2024

On Wednesday 21 July 2021 the ACT Electoral Commissioner declared the following members elected to the ATSIEB for a period of 3 years.

The successful candidates in the order in which they were elected are:

This election was originally scheduled for 2020 but was deferred until 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Portfolio responsibilities

The Elected Body members have decided on the following portfolio responsibilities:

  • Lynnice Church – Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development; Major Projects, Canberra Institute of Technology
  • Tanya Keed – Community Services
  • Maurice Walker – ACT Education
  • Margaret Blackman – Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development
  • Jo Chivers – Justice and Community Safety
  • Leah House – ACT Health and Canberra Health Services
  • Paula McGrady – Transport and City Services

 

Vision and Mission

ATSIEB Vision and Mission

Our Vision

That all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT are fully engaged in shaping and creating their future wellbeing.

Our Mission

To provide a strong, respected and democratically elected voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the ACT by:

  • Understanding and representing community needs and priorities
  • Supporting development of government policy and services that meet community needs
  • Advocating for accountability, transparency and effectiveness in achieving social and economic outcomes for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

ATSIEB has been established by the ACT Government as an innovative and even unique model underpinning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community development and self-determination in Canberra. It has potential applicability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

What makes ATSIEB unique is that it is elected by the local community rather than appointed by the government.

Overview

Overview of ATSIEB

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB) is responsible for representing the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living within the ACT. It supports the ACT government to develop policy and provide services that are relevant to the needs of people within the community as well as advocating for accountability, transparency and effectiveness.

ATSIEB has obligations under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Act 2008 to investigate the development and delivery of ACT Government policies and programs in order to best recommend policy direction on all matters affecting the wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community of the ACT.

Members and Tenure

ATSIEB consists of 7 people who are elected every 3 years to represent the interests and requests of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Each member holds office on a part-time basis.

Functions and Role of ATSIEB

ATSIEB has the following functions under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Act 2008:

  • To receive, and pass on to the Minister, the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT on issues of concern to them and, when asked by the Minister, to give the Minister information or advice about the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on matters stated by the Minister.
  • To represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT and to act as an advocate on systemic or whole-of-government issues affecting their interests.
  • To foster community discussion about:
    1. issues of concern to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT
    2. the functions of ATSIEB
    3. the Act.
  • To conduct regular consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT and report the outcomes of that consultation to the Minister and any other Minister responsible for the matter that is the subject of the consultation.
  • To make recommendations to government agencies about research proposals that further the objects of the Act.
  • To monitor and report on the effectiveness and accessibility of programs and services conducted by government agencies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT.
  • To monitor and report on the accessibility by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT to programs and services conducted by government agencies for the general public.
  • To provide advice to government agencies on appropriate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people living in the ACT on consultative bodies established by government agencies.
  • When asked by a government agency or another person, to recommend any reasonable action it considers necessary to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait cultural material or information considered sacred or significant by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people loving in the ACT.
  • Any other function given to ATSIEB by the Minister.
  • Any other function given to ATSIEB under the Act or another territory law.

The Elected Body is a strong voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans nationally. As a member of the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks), they are the ACT jurisdictional member on the Joint Council on Closing the Gap.

The Joint Council includes ministers from each state and territory, 12 members of the Coalition of Peaks, and a representative of the Australian Local Government Association. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body is playing a significant role in the development of a National Voice to the Australian Parliament and Government.

Last term achievements

The Elected Body negotiated the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2019–2028 with the ACT Government with self-determination at the core, and wide-ranging plans to improve the life of the community.

It held the government to account, raising issues of community concern in regular meetings with ministers and senior public servants and in annual hearings.

It also worked with national First Nations peak bodies (The Coalition of Peaks) to negotiate with Australian Governments new targets and plans to Close the Gap in disadvantage.

Policy and Advocacy

Policy and Advocacy

Advocate

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB) members are elected representatives from the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with a mandate to be a strong voice to express views and issues affecting our communities to the ACT Government.

ATSIEB was established under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2008, which provides the legislative framework for its operations.

Our Vision

That all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT are fully engaged in shaping and creating their future wellbeing.

Strategic Documents

The Community Consultation Plan is developed to engage the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the ACT in relation to public policy and program decisions made by the ACT Government and to guide consultation over the duration of the term of the Elected Body. You can click here to view the ATSIEB Consultation Plan 2017 2020

Although a lot of work still needs to be done, ATSIEB is proud of the achievements and progress it has made in shaping the ACT Governments strategic direction on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs through the development of key Agreements, which include the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2015-2018 and ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Partnership 2015-2018.

You can click here to view the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2015-2018 and ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Partnership 2015-2018.

ATSIEB will continue to work with all constituents, stakeholders and government to improve progress; design of; and the delivery of key policies, services and programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT.

ATSIEB’s Highlight Reports

Members

Members and Tenure

ATSIEB consists of seven people who are elected every three years to represent the interests and requests of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Each member holds office on a part time basis.

Elected Body Members

Previous Terms

Term One 2008 – 2011

Terry Williams

Chair

Diane Collins

Deputy Chair

Roslyn Brown

Member

Lynette Goodwin

Member

Fred Monaghan

Member

Rod Little

Member

Jason Oakley

Member

2021 ATSIEB Election

ATSIEB Election

The 2021 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB) election was held in NAIDOC Week from 3 July to 10 July 2021.

Voting

Voting in the ATSIEB election strengthens self-determination for the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Candidate nominations closed on 1 June.

The 18 candidates who contested the election are listed here in ballot paper order:

  • Jacob KEED
  • Patrick VANN
  • Helen WRIGHT
  • Neville PERKINS
  • Deanne BOOTH
  • Ross FOWLER
  • Oliver KICKETT
  • Maurice WALKER
  • Tanya Michelle KEED
  • Paula McGRADY
  • Kartika MEDCRAFT-SMITH
  • Margaret BLACKMAN
  • Lynnice CHURCH
  • Jo CHIVERS
  • Leah HOUSE
  • Karen DEMMERY
  • Brooke RIGNEY
  • Jackson TAYLOR-GRANT

Voting decided the 7 positions on the ATSIEB to represent the interests and aspirations of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Voting for the election was conducted by Elections ACT. It took place during NAIDOC week from 3 July to 10 July 2021.

Who is eligible to vote?

To be eligible to vote or to stand as a candidate, a person must be:

  • an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander
  • at least 18 years of age
  • on, or entitled to be on, the ACT electoral roll – that is, they must be living in the ACT for at least the last month.

Eligible electors may vote in person at any polling place or can cast a postal vote if they are unable to vote at a polling place.

As the electoral roll does not identify whether an elector is an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander, the ATSIEB Act uses a combination of polling place Liaison Officers and a Review Panel to determine whether someone is entitled to vote at the election.

In addition, candidates must not be under sentence of imprisonment for 1 year or longer for a conviction for an indictable offence.

For further information about the election visit the Elections ACT website at  www.elections.act.gov.au or call 6205 0033.

The role of an ATSIEB member

The ATSIEB is a strong voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans locally and nationally.

The ATSIEB is also the ACT jurisdictional member on the Joint Council on Closing the Gap and plays a significant role in the development of a national voice to the Australian Parliament and Government.

Find out more about the functions and role of ATSIEB, and last term achievements.

The roles and responsibilities of ATSIEB members are outlined in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (ATSIEB) Act 2008.

The ATSIEB is required to hold a minimum of 6 full-day meetings a year. At the first meeting after the election, they will elect a Chair and Deputy Chair.

The ATSIEB is required to conduct regular consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT and report the outcomes of that consultation to the Minister and any other minister responsible.

The ATSIEB decides how it conducts its other functions. The current ATSIEB has been meeting quarterly with the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and annually with ACT cabinet ministers. Members have also been meeting monthly with Directors General of ACT Directorates.

The ATSIEB also holds 2 days of formal public hearings each year with ACT Directorates.

Reimbursement of ATSIEB members is according to the Remunerations Tribunal determination for part time office holders.

Members are provided with opportunities to improve their leadership and governance skills to assist them in their work.

The ATSIEB Secretariat provides support for members and maintains this website with information for the community about the work of the ATSIEB.