Abstract: In 2008, community government was abolished in the remote Aboriginal communities of the Northern Territory and centralised in large shires. It seems safe to assume that, for the foreseeable future, the population of most of these communities will remain predominantly Aboriginal. While such communities will continue to be centres of change, the co-residence of large populations of Aboriginal people also facilitates the reproduction of values and practices, some of which create a ?seemingly intractable gulf between policy goals and actual community life? (M and R Tonkinson 2010, 68). Ignoring this problem is not the answer. Despite past problems with community government, it is one of the few avenues for real community development and a chance to build a notion of civil society.