• Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Council Warren Mundine and Prime Minister Tony Abbott. (AAP)
The final 12 members of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Indigenous Advisory Council have been announced.
By
Nancia Guivarra

Source:
NITV News
25 Nov 2013 - 5:54 PM  UPDATED 25 Nov 2013 - 7:45 PM

The 12 members handpicked by the prime minister from the 230 applications put forward are from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds.

They include representatives from Yolngu Country in Arnhem Land and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, along with Westpac CEO Gail Kelly and the head of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation, Andrew Penfold.

Supply Nation Chief Executive Officer Charles Prouse said it was refreshing to see such a diverse mix of members from remote communities and corporate Australia.

He's pleased that their focus is on economic development, but he said they need to remember that Indigenous businesses exist across the entire country.

"I encourage cooperate and government Australia to spend more with Indigenous businesses and Indigenous suppliers," Mr Prouse said.

Opposition spokesman for Indigenous Affairs, MP Shayne Neumann, said he was concerned with the role of the newly formed Indigenous Advisory Council.

"My concern is about the paternalism of the current Abbott government and the process involved in the appointment. We simply don’t know much about what this Indigenous advisory council will do," Mr Neumann said.

Director and Chair of Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne, Kerry Arabena, also questioned the role of the panel members.  

"So now we have the Indigenous dozen. I would be happy to see them up with and implement a dozen good ideas. I am watching this space," she said.

The council will have their first meeting with the Prime Minister next week and have agreed to meet three times each year,

NITV attempted to contact the prime minister, Indigenous affairs minister and panel members but all were unable to comment.