Tony Abbott has recommended boosting pay and conditions for teachers in remote areas, including waiving their university debts, to improve the quality of Indigenous education.
The former prime minister also suggests deducting fines imposed on parents for breaking truancy rules from other government payments, rather using the "often ineffective" threat of jail time for refusing to pay.
The proposals are contained in his first report as the government's special envoy on Indigenous affairs, which he presented to federal parliament on Thursday.
Mr Abbott said amidst the "generally depressing" indicators on indigenous Australia, one factor stood out.
"Indigenous people who finish school and who do complete a degree have much the same employment outcomes and life expectancies as other comparable Australians," he told parliament.
"It stands to reason that to have a decent life you've got to have a job, and to have a job you've got to have a reasonable education."
Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek paid little attention to his report.
"Pretty much anything Tony Abbott says about Indigenous communities you can take with a grain of salt," she told reporters.
"The period under his prime ministership was chaotic when it came to remote service delivery in remote Aboriginal communities."