The Forrest Review – Creating Parity

The Forrest Review – Creating Parity Report

  • Author(s): Andrew Forrest, Commonwealth of Australia
  • Published: 2014

Abstract: Seismic, not incremental, change is required and the time for action is now. These solutions are not expensive and parity is completely achievable with the strength of will from each of us. Given the fact that there is no employment gap, or disparity, for first Australians who are educated at the same level as other Australians, the full force of our community leaders and governments must pack behind the achievement of parity in educational outcomes as a national priority. We must doggedly remove all impediments, raise our expectations dramatically and pursue accountability for Indigenous education until we reach parity in outcomes between all Australian kids. My report is a call to all Australians. It is time to end the disparity between our first Australians and other Australians. Jobs give individuals the opportunity to choose circumstances, to take control of their lives and to provide for their own and their children’s future. This preserves Indigenous culture and ensures its relevance for future generations. Nothing destroys family and traditional culture quicker than despondency, dependency and poor lifestyles. My childhood was populated by Indigenous leaders who proudly wore the mantel of their own culture and upheld and ensured the preservation of their laws and traditions. Aboriginal ceremonies like corroborees were often held in short distance from our homestead so everyone could take part. There was never any discussion that their ability to lead in the workforce and enjoy a modern standard of living would conflict with the love of their culture. They competently conversed in both English and Indigenous languages. Since then, the ability of Indigenous people to be employed is not assured. Indeed, the disparity resulting from the large proportion of Indigenous Australians who are disengaged from the workforce has reached crisis levels—hence this report. Ending the disparity has defeated successive well-intentioned governments of every political persuasion at the Commonwealth, state and territory levels for decades. Progress has been made in some areas, but most concerning is the growing gap in employment outcomes. Education and employment have the capacity to end the disparity, but a massive 30 point gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and other Australians exists despite the tens of billions of dollars spent by governments to address Indigenous disadvantage.

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Andrew Forrest, Commonwealth of Australia, 2014, The Forrest Review – Creating Parity, Report, viewed 03 December 2023,

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