New CEO for SNAICC – National Voice for our Children
SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, were excited to last week announce the appointment of Angela Singh to the position of Chief Executive Officer.
Ms Singh, a Yorta Yorta woman from Victoria, brings to her appointment “a wealth of experience in Aboriginal affairs” with more than 25 years working in the state and Commonwealth public sector to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Her expertise spans early childhood development, education, and child safety and wellbeing.
With grandparents born at the Cummeragunja mission, Ms Singh credits her mother for teaching her and her sisters about Aboriginal culture, the value of extended kinship systems, the importance of family, and how to be resilient.
She outlined that her experience of working with a number of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations (ACCOs) to develop programs and policy had given her an understanding of the importance of listening to and understanding First Nation communities.
“I think Aboriginal people are much more comfortable to access ACCOs than mainstream service providers – and for those in our community who want to access mainstream services, ACCOs have a role in advising and supporting those services to be inclusive and responsive.” Ms Singh said.
In her most recent roles as Executive Director for the Koorie Outcomes Division, Victorian Department of Education and Training, and at the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Ms Singh played a significant role in charting the Government’s strategic direction to improve outcomes for Aboriginal people in early childhood development, education and training.
These roles, in combination with her experience as a parent, have given Ms Singh “a particular passion for education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.” She is a trained primary school teacher, and has also taught at higher education.
Speaking on the value of education, she said “I think education is one of the best things that we can invest in. Education gives you choices, it empowers you and it allows you to be truly self-determining.”
SNAICC Chairperson Muriel Bamblett OA, on behalf of the SNAICC Board, said she was “thrilled” to appoint Ms Singh to the role at this critical time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Ms Bamblett said both herself and the SNAICC Board looked forward to learning from her expertise in early childhood and education.
“With Angela’s years of experience working in government, SNAICC can continue to strengthen our partnerships with state and federal government to make sure our children are at the forefront of policies.” Ms Bamblett said.
Both the upcoming federal election, to be held 18 May, and the partnership approach to the Closing the Gap refresh offer important opportunities to ensure the rights of our children are prioritised at the national level, Ms Bamblett added.
Ms Singh said she was looking forward to working with the Federal Government to progress SNAICC’s federal election priorities, including developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Strategy, advocating for universal three and four-year-old kindergarten and investing in ACCO early years services.
Her vision for SNAICC, she said, lies in further strengthening its leadership in influencing governments at the Commonwealth, state and territory levels; with particular focus on education, capacity building and partnerships.
“I would like to focus on working with tertiary education providers to ensure curriculum is relevant and inclusive of an Indigenous voice; and also working with mainstream service providers to improve their cultural understandings including how they can better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. And importantly, collaborating with both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and non-Indigenous peak organisations to improve outcomes for our community as a whole.” Ms Singh said in closing.