Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice

The position of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner was created by the federal parliament in December 1992 – a response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the National Inquiry into Racist Violence. It was also a response to the extreme social and economic disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians.

Social justice is about making sure that every Australian – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – has choices about how they live and the means to make those choices. It also means recognising the distinctive rights that Indigenous Australians hold as the original peoples of this land.

The Commission's role includes reviewing the impact of laws and policies on Indigenous peoples, reporting on Indigenous social justice and native title issues and promoting an Indigenous perspective on issues. In addition, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner monitors the enjoyment and exercise of human rights for Indigenous Australians. The AHRC Act and the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) require that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner produces an annual Social Justice and a Native Title Report. These reports are tabled in Parliament.

This work is led by Mick Gooda, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.