ACOSS chief Cassandra Goldie has urged an end to the harsh policies that are hurting indigenous people.
A leading welfare advocate has used the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to demand the federal government abolish the "harsh, brutal experiments" inflicted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie says these include the community development program, income management and work for the dole
"We want those programs stopped. We want them abolished and those funds reinvested, getting behind the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders," she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
"Unless we're prepared to do that, we will not 'Close the Gap' on employment."
National Congress of Australia's First People chief executive Gary Oliver said it is important to acknowledge the failures of government and questioned its Closing the Gap "refresh" that is about to happen around economic prosperity.
"How can we as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people be ready for economic prosperity where we haven't got housing, where we've got more people incarcerated and we've got draconian policies happening to us around workplace laws and also the cashless card as well," he told reporters.