First Nations Ambassador to be appointed within DFAT

The government will appoint Australia’s first Ambassador for First Nations People to embed Indigenous perspectives and interests into foreign policy.

Linda Burney

It will also be the first time an Ambassador position will be open to a public expression of interest process.

The Ambassador will head an Office of First Nations Engagement within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and will consult with First Nations communities on how Australia’s international engagement can support Indigenous rights, interests and trade opportunities around the world.

Terms of reference for the position include:

  • provide guidance on developing a First Nations foreign policy
  • enhance engagement in the Indo-Pacific
  • progress First Nations rights globally
  • support First Nations trade and investment
  • bolster Australia’s First Nations advocacy

The Federal government announced last week it is seeking expressions of interest from individuals interested in the position as part of its commitment to deliver on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“Appointing an Ambassador for First Nations People is an opportunity to ensure the unique perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included in our international engagement,” Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said.

“An Ambassador for First Nations people will be supported to engage with likeminded countries to share our commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and experiences of treaty and truth telling processes.”

Candidates will be reviewed by a six person advisory panel, comprised of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander representatives and senior government officials, who will produce a shortlist of candidates.

EOIs close on November 4.

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