In The Media – Department changes from Indigenous to Aboriginal

Department changes from Indigenous to Aboriginal

Posted 1 hour 8 minutes ago

Peter Collier

Peter Collier Photo: The Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier (file). (ABC News)

Map: Perth 6000
The State Government is replacing the word ‘Indigenous’ with the word ‘Aboriginal’ in its department in a move the Opposition has labelled an expensive waste of time.

As part of a number of departmental changes, the agency will now be known as the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Three years ago, a review was conducted of the language used within Government, which concluded that there were mixed views and a change was not necessary.

However, the Minister Peter Collier says since then, it has become clear there is a strong preference for the use of the word Aboriginal.

“Even though it may seem semantics and may be minor in terms of the challenges that face Aboriginal people, to Aboriginal people it was very significant,” he said.

“So the change reflects the will of Aboriginal people across Western Australia and I’m delighted we’ve made that change.”

But Opposition spokesman Ben Wyatt says Aboriginal people have far more important things to worry about.

“As I go around WA no one demands that the department has its name changed,” he said.

“We talk about health, we talk about education and the Minister, the best he can come up with is to change the name of the department.

“It suggests to me that his priorities are all wrong, and he’s run out of ideas in respect to the development of policy around Aboriginal affairs in Western Australia.

“West Australians will wear tens-of-thousands of dollars costs in changing that name, which won’t result in an improvement in services at all.”

The Minister’s office says the cost of the change has not been determined but is expected to be minimal.

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