Govt appoints interim First Nations commissioner

Ms Andrea Kelly has been appointed the Interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner.

Experienced leader and public policy developer Ms Andrea Kelly has been appointed the Interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner, the government has announced.

Anika Wells

“The Interim First Nations Aged Care Commissioner will help advocate for communities and service providers across Australia to help the reforms we are undertaking in aged care meet the needs of older First Nations people,” said Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells in a statement released Tuesday.

Through her new role, Ms Kelly – a Warumungu and Larrakia woman with strong ties to the Northern Territory – will undertake a range of key functions, including:

  • a mandate to lead extensive public consultations with First Nations stakeholders and communities about the design and function of the permanent commissioner
  • contributing to the changes necessary to bring improvements for First Nations people across all tiers of the aged care system
  • advocating for and promoting culturally safe aged care for First Nations people across Australia.

“Improving aged care for First Nations people and making sure they have access to culturally safe and tailored aged care services is a key reform priority for the Albanese Government,” said Ms Wells.

Ms Kelly comes to the role of interim commissioner from the National Indigenous Australians Agency where she helped establish the Territories Stolen Generation Redress Scheme.

In all, Ms Kelly has 32 years’ experience engaging with First Nations communities and developing policies for Australia’s indigenous populations.

Ms Kelly said she was delighted to take up the role of interim commissioner “and for the opportunity to advocate for and work directly with First Nations people regarding their care needs.”

She added: “The creation of this role, and that of the permanent First Nations Commissioner for Aged Care, will enable voices of First Nations people to be heard and acted on.”

Ms Kelly commences the interim role from 24 January 2024. The permanent First Nations commissioner is expected to be appointed in 2025.

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Tags: Andrea Kelly, anika wells, first nations aged care minister,

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