CHRIS SARRA has been appointed Director-General of the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) in Queensland.
Dr Sarra has stated plans to “reset” the government’s relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities in Queensland, seeking to change the policy approach to one which will empower First Peoples “to thrive, rather than survive”.
The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples has applauded Dr Sarra’s policy approach which focusses on “investing in authentic localised leadership, rather than subcontracting out”.
“National Congress recognises Dr Sarra’s considerable work in improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” a National Congress spokesperson said. “Dr Sarra’s career began as the first Aboriginal principal of Cherboug State School, where he dramatically lifted school attendance, literary and numeracy results. He was a founding director of Strong Smart Solutions, which has improved results in hundreds of Aboriginal schools.”
Dr Sarra is currently a professor of education at the University of Canberra. He has served on several boards including as chair of the Stronger Smarter Institute, co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, commissioner of the Australian Rugby League Commission, Cowboys NRL House and Queensland Performing Arts Centre Trust.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised Dr Sarra’s “work in pursuing more positive and productive outcomes for Indigenous communities” for which he has been recognised both nationally and internationally.