When Centrelink was established in 1997, it inherited from the Department of Social Security a model of service delivery for Indigenous communities in remote areas built around relatively large social security offices based in urban centres and agents based in Indigenous communities. Some dissatisfaction with this model has led Centrelink to experiment with additional ways of delivering services to remote Indigenous communities. In particular, it has piloted the development of some very small Centrelink offices, or Customer Service Centres (CSCs), located in some of the larger Indigenous communities.
This paper reports on a consultancy undertaken in 2002 which provided a formative evaluation of the first two such small CSCs. It outlines plans, originating in the 2001 budget, for the establishment over the next four years of another 12 such small CSCs servicing Indigenous people in remote areas. I argue that these small CSCs are a significant development in the way in which Indigenous people in remote areas have been included in the social security system over the last 40 years. While perhaps not an entirely new model of inclusion of Indigenous people in the social security system per se, they are a significant development in the service delivery model through which, in practice, this inclusion occurs.
ISBN: 0 7315 4922 8
ISSN: 1442 3871