Two-way Learning Governance Learning Resource Development

Two-way Learning and Governance Learning Resource Development – the Australian government

Remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory have experienced significant change in recent years. There are now more agencies (both government and NGO) delivering services and they work differently from the way that communities have operated in the past.

Two-way governance is about creating and achieving the best possible outcomes in remote Aboriginal settlements through compliance with the mainstream governance laws, without detriment to Aboriginal rights and interests in culture, people, law, knowledge systems, language and country.

The Two-way Governance Project used a participatory action research process. Ninti One worked with the leaders and representatives of remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities to:

  • Build skills and knowledge about the processes, management and structure of government
  • Enhance the capacity for engagement between government and community leaders
  • Use this process to ascertain where community leaders were experiencing gaps in knowledge about government business
  • Develop and produce a learning resource which would promote a wider understanding in remote Aboriginal communities of government processes and which would help to build the capacity of remote Aboriginal leaders to understand and deal with government in a meaningful and sustainable way.

Project participants recommended strengthening the practice of two-way governance in remote communities and the organisations that work with them in the following ways:

  • All levels of government seek to clearly explain in clear language the obligations of Indigenous board and committee members, and where possible commit to streamlining community consultative structures to alleviate the work burden on board and committee members.
  • All research reports and recommendations made on behalf of governments are provided to affected communities through appropriate feedback mechanisms to the community concerned.
  • Protocols for communicating through boards, advisory groups, elected officials, etc. to be agreed and adhered to by all parties.
  • In two-way processes, develop and adhere to stringent mechanisms around cultural competence in local service agreements.
  • Governments to continue using interpreter services as a minimum benchmark for community engagement.
  • Ongoing local cultural awareness training and support to be provided for resident and visiting staff.
  • Protocols for external visitors are developed for each community.
  • Organisational representatives and government employees and managers should be encouraged and supported to view their workplace from an Indigenous perspective.
  • Establish mandatory requirements for contractors to adhere to cultural protocols through undertaking cultural awareness training.
  • Active coaching for Aboriginal community members and non-Indigenous managers who are engaged in brokering governance arrangements.

Two-way Governance Resource Section 1: About this resource

Two-way Resource Section 2: What is governance

Two-way Governance Resource Section 3: Making Two-way Governance work for you

Two-way Governance Resource Section 4: Action planning

Two-way Governance Resource Section 5: Developing protocols