Jody Broun to become chief executive of National Indigenous Australians Agency

New chief executive of the National Indigenous Australians Agency, Jody Broun. Picture: Supplied
New chief executive of the National Indigenous Australians Agency, Jody Broun. Picture: Supplied

The National Indigenous Australians Agency will have a new chief executive after the federal government appointed public servant and artist Jody Broun to the role.

Ms Broun, a Yindjibarndi woman from the Pilbara in Western Australia, will become the most senior Indigenous person currently serving in the Australian Public Service.

She will begin a five-year term on February 14, after finishing her role as chief executive of the Aboriginal Housing Office and group deputy secretary of Aboriginal Strategy and Outcomes with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in the NSW government.

Ms Broun said she felt enormously privileged for the opportunity to lead the NIAA.

"There are so many strong and intelligent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have led and paved the way, and others who are doing that right now," she said.

"I'm thinking of people like Lowitja O'Donohue, the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission chairperson, and Sonja Stewart, the first Aboriginal CEO of the NSW Law Society. And I think we all do this because we are committed to our mob and to better outcomes."

Ms Broun said she was looking forward to working in partnership with the Coalition of Peaks and all Aboriginal community-controlled organisations on the implementation of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, and the Commonwealth's implementation plan.

"I am committed to hearing from our communities about how we can all do better working in genuine partnership, and ensuring that they are heard by progressing the work on the Local and Regional Voice," she said.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said Ms Broun was a highly respected public servant who was passionate about community-led co-design, the economic empowerment of Indigenous Australians and education.

"I am immensely proud that the National Indigenous Australians Agency will be led by an Indigenous woman of Ms Broun's calibre," he said.

"Ms Broun will bring a wealth of experience across housing, health, education, justice, land and culture, and most notably working through the intricacies of Commonwealth and state and territory relations in a number of senior roles in different jurisdictions.

"With a national network to leverage, I am confident she is the right person to deliver on the government's objectives to achieve the best outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples."

Ms Broun has previously been co-chairperson of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, director-general of Aboriginal Affairs in NSW and executive director of Aboriginal Housing and Infrastructure in the WA Department of Housing and Works.

For more than four years she was NSW/ACT director at Australian Red Cross, and was previously a teacher who was part of the foundation staff of Clontarf Aboriginal College.

Ms Broun has also had a successful career as an artist, winning the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 1998 and the Canberra Art Award in 2005.

She will replace Ray Griggs, who was the inaugural NIAA chief executive before becoming Social Services Department secretary last year. Blair Exell has led the agency as acting CEO in the interim during the last six months.

The NIAA last year delivered the final report for the Indigenous voice, and recently announced the Ngurra Cultural Precinct to be built in Canberra's parliamentary zone.

Under a plan to create the long-awaited national voice empowered to advise federal parliament, up to 35 Indigenous advisory bodies would be established Australia-wide.

The local and regional advisory bodies designed and led by Indigenous communities would be up and running from July 2022.

The National Indigenous Australians Agency was formed in 2019, and is tasked with leading and coordinating Commonwealth policy development, program design and service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, advising on whole-of-government priorities, and leading Commonwealth activities to promote reconciliation.

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This story Jody Broun to become chief executive of National Indigenous Australians Agency first appeared on The Canberra Times.