The Australian government’s independent research and advisory authority will soon have its first commissioner focused on indigenous policies.
Romlie Mokak, a Djugun man and a member of the Yawuru people, will become the Productivity Commission’s inaugural full-time indigenous policy evaluation commissioner in April.
The experienced policy operative, who is chief executive of Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research – the Lowitja Institute – has his work cut out for him.
Upon starting the job, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the Productivity Commission will be tasked with creating and conducting an evaluation strategy for all policies and programs affecting indigenous Australians.
That comes as several national targets aimed at closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, when it comes to issues such as life expectancy and employment, are not on track.
“The creation of this position reflects the government’s commitment to Closing the Gap,” Mr Frydenberg said.
Mr Mokak’s appointment is for five years.