Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has called for a national summit on indigenous education on the fifth anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generation.
Mr Rudd says there are 162,000 indigenous Australians currently of school age, many of whose literacy and numeracy skills are up to 30 per cent lower than those of non-indigenous students.
"We are turning the corner but the challenges are massive," Mr Rudd told the National Apology annual breakfast in Sydney's Government House.
"Summits come, summits go, conferences come, conferences go.
"I know the educators get together all the time but I am worried about this piece of the data."
Mr Rudd said governments should work together to arrange an indigenous education summit "to take the great learning experiences where we are succeeding across the nation and to where we are not succeeding as well".
He said this would enable authorities "to work out what are the best tailored responses to each community - urban, remote, large and small".
In February 2008, Mr Rudd apologised to all Aboriginal people and the stolen generations for their "profound grief, suffering and loss".
The then-prime minister used the word "sorry" three times in his 360-word speech, which was delivered in parliament.
The apology was reported around the world.