The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) will be led by Yindjibarndi woman, Jody Broun as of next month.

Broun who is from the Pilbara in Western Australia, will become the most senior Indigenous person in the Australian Public Service when she takes up the Chief Executive Officer role for the agency.

She is currently the CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Office and holds a role in Aboriginal Strategy and Outcomes with the New South Wales Government.

Ms Broun told the National Indigenous Times that she is particularly 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 & Regional Voice,” she said.

“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. I’m thinking of people like Lowitja O’Donohue, the first ATSIC 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.”

In announcing the appointment, Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt said he was immensely proud the NIAA would be led by an Indigenous woman of Ms Broun’s calibre.

“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,“ Mr Wyatt said.

“She is a highly respected public servant and is passionate about community-led co-design, the economic empowerment of Indigenous Australians and that education is a key driver of positive change in our communities,” Mr Wyatt said.

Since its establishment in 2019 the NIAA has delivered a number of significant projects, including the final report for the Indigenous voice and the recently announced Ngurra Cultural Precinct

Mr Wyatt acknowledged the hard work of outgoing CEO Ray Griggs in overseeing the establishment and expansion of the Agency. 

Blair Exell has been acting in the role for the past six months, as acting CEO. 

Ms Broun’s five year term will commence on February 14.

By Aleisha Orr