• Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Peter Varghese speaks (AAP)Source: AAP
Australia's first policy for advancing the interests of the world's Indigenous peoples has been released in Canberra.
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NITV News
17 Aug 2015 - 3:54 PM  UPDATED 17 Aug 2015 - 6:42 PM

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or DFAT, launched the five-year strategy and hopes to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to play a leadership role in boosting a global agenda on Indigenous issues.

The strategy is said to begin at the grass roots, offering Indigenous Australians more jobs.

"We want to see more Indigenous Australians volunteering, studying, working and developing business relationships around the world," said DFAT Secretary Peter Varghese. "DFAT will work to encourage Indigenous Australians to engage overseas."

Damien Miller, a Gungaloo man from Central Queensland is one First Australian who has taken an international post. He was the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed a head of mission and is currently Australia's ambassador to Denmark.

"We hope that the examples set by Damien will chart a path for DFAT's talented Indigenous workforce"

"It was an important milestone in Australia's diplomatic history," Mr Varghese said. "We hope that the examples set by Damien will chart a path for DFAT's talented Indigenous workforce."

A key part of the strategy is to work through the United Nations and the broader multi-lateral system to address issues facing First Peoples of Australia.

"We welcome the commitment of UN member states to the advancement of the world's indigenous peoples, as set out in the new post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals," Mr Varghese. "Australia is committed to strengthening the capacity of the multilateral system to engage on issues affecting the world's indigenous peoples."

Andrew Tongue, Associate Secretary at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, is confident about the new policy. 

He congratulated the department for "what is a great and important piece of work". 

Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda believes the strategy will work towards a push for constitutional recognition.

"I constantly remind people how we can confront our past and move on in very positive ways"

"This is one of the main issues we've got to confront in the country, and we've got to be actually proud about confronting it and not something were ashamed of," said Human Rights Commission Social Justice Commissioner Mr Gooda.

"I constantly remind people how we can confront our past and move on in very positive ways."

Peter Varghese said there was no international pressure to create a policy for First Australians.

"We've always recognised that the conversation about Indigenous issues internationally is an important issue for Australia," he said. "We wanted to do something that bought all those different threads together."