Former Chief of Navy heads up new Indigenous agency

CEO, Ray Griggs AO CSC Graduate, Moana Prescott Deputy CEO, Professor Ian Anderson AO Assistant Secretary - Culture, Andrea Kelly. Photo via Minister Ken Wyatt's Twitter.

Former Chief of Navy and Vice Chief of the Defence Force Ray Griggs AO, CSC has been named CEO of the newly launched National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA).

On July 1, the agency was launched as an executive agency under the prime Minister’s portfolio with Mr Griggs at the helm.

Previously, the NIAA was the Indigenous Affairs group under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said this was a chance for the Government to have a marked change in the way they engage and do business with Indigenous Australians at all levels.

“Establishing this agency solely dedicated to the advancement of Australia’s First Nations is a significant opportunity for the Government to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on the ground,” Minister Wyatt said.

Minister Wyatt said the NIAA will support him in meeting the “changing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their leaders and communities.”

“All of us must work together with State and Territory Governments to bring about change and close the gap in Indigenous communities.”

A statement from Minister Wyatt’s office said Mr Griggs’ “entire career has been in service to Australia and its peoples.”

Minister Wyatt said the NIAA is “privileged” to have an experienced leader heading the agency.

Mr Griggs said the Indigenous Affairs Group evolving into its own agency was a natural development.

“This change provides the opportunity to enhance the way we work across Government and ensure we have better coordination across the Commonwealth on matters that affect Indigenous Australians,” Mr Griggs said.

Mr Griggs’ 40-year career began in the Royal Australian Navy, with his last seven years seeing him take on the roles of Chief of Navy and then Vice Chief of the Defence Force until his retirement in July 2018.

Mr Griggs’ portfolio as Vice Chief of the Defence Force included Indigenous employment and outreach, however, his experience with the Indigenous community outside of this remains unclear.

Only two months after his retirement was Mr Griggs asked to join the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to head up the Indigenous Affairs Group in October 2018.

The inaugural CEO will now lead a team of about 1,200 staff at the NIAA.

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1 Comment on Former Chief of Navy heads up new Indigenous agency

  1. Well blow me down & call me Charlie if the the new CEO, Mr. Griggs isn’t an indigenous person. I’m only guessing this, as the article never mentioned his racial background. Although, as an ancAu [aboriginal/indigenous] man who’s seen 60+ years of non-indigenous persons ‘managing’ my people’s affairs, I should just shut-up and be thankful. A brand new organisation with 1200 staff! This should really make a huge difference to youth, female & ancAu incarceration rates & youth suicide. The Govt will say “We have them a shot with ATSIC & look how that turned out!” Totally forgetting the amount & depth of fraud, mismanagement & bold-as-brass theft in all mainstream areas of business or large organistaions, including Govts’; State & Federal! I’m so pleased our new ancAu Minister, Mr Wyatt is pleased with this selection also – though I wonder if he had any choice or say in the matter? One would think some aspiring young Journalist would ask him, so his people know how this highly referenced fellow has the credentials to work with ancAu peeps at any level. He managed Destroyers & aircraft-carriers in the Navy, & we all know what Mr. P. Keating said about those expensive toys – if there’s an actual war: [blub blub blub etc]. Not a great reference for mine at all…

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