Untangling Indigenous governance: the need for coordination and collaboration

Thursday, 18 June 2015
Toni Bauman
Robynne Quiggin

Effective Indigenous governance which matches capabilities and cultural priorities is the key to beneficial native title outcomes. At the ‘Indigenous Governance Development Forum: Mapping Current and Future Research and Resources’ convened by AIATSIS and the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI) in 2014, one participant commented that Indigenous governance looked like the painting ‘Blue Poles’ with a range of scales, scopes, multiple partnerships and corporations, duplication of resources and rationale. This paper discusses a number of the issues raised at the Forum including:

  • understanding governance as more than just compliance to regulations;
  • the authorising environments, economies of scale and design of Indigenous governance;
  • complexities in evaluating Indigenous governance;
  • changing the public narrative of deficit which pervades government policies and the media to one based on self-determination;
  • the governance of governments;
  • the need for improved collaboration and coordination in the building of Indigenous governance including:
  • a clearing house for information;
  • national, state/territory and local communications strategies involving the sharing of what works, what doesn’t work and why;
  • research around a range of topics identified at the Forum and related production of tools and practical resources; and
  • the development of a governance framework or set of principles which inform and are informed by local interests and how to tailor them to local priorities.