Indigenous excellence was the topic of conversation in the halls of Parliament recently. As Australia’s politicians sipped their cappuccinos and long blacks, they were invited to pause, recognise and reflect on the growing movement of Indigenous excellence.

The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) put coffee cups with ‘Excellence is the New Black’ written on them in Aussies Caf� in Parliament house during a recent sitting week.

‘Excellence is the New Black’ is a saying we coined to capture the shift in focus to Indigenous stories of success, resilience, contribution and aspiration.

We did this to reinforce that excellence is the new standard for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. To reiterate that young Indigenous Australians have brighter futures, full of opportunities, where they decide what they choose to do and what excellence means to them.

The NCIE wanted ministers, senators and journalists to have a conversation about Indigenous excellence and shift the discussion and the policy to an assets based approach to increasing the wellbeing of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The coffee cups were an innovative way to get the idea of Indigenous excellence in the hands, on the lips and in the minds of the country’s decision makers.

Photo: Greens Senators Rachel Siewert and Christine Milne with Aussies Cafe Barista