Abstract: To implement the Closing the Gap policy, Australian Government policy aims to strengthen government engagement and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, recognising that without genuine engagement it will be difficult to achieve the key policy targets (the COAG targets) (FaHCSIA 2011a). This paper overviews the research-based evidence on how such engagement can be developed and maintained. It examines what research shows about: • the conditions that enable governments and others (non-government organisations and the private sector) to engage effectively with Indigenous communities • how these conditions can be enhanced for effective engagement between governments and Indigenous communities. The major focus of this paper is on research into government engagement at the regional level as this provides the most research or evaluation evidence. A separate resource sheet, Engagement with Indigenous communities in key sectors (Hunt 2013), examines research evidence for engagement in specific sectors where a reasonable body of evidence exists, and Indigenous engagement with non-government organisations that work in international development. Some of these organisations also work in Australian Indigenous communities. This paper draws on Australian and international research undertaken largely since 2000. This date was chosen as it marked the start of major changes in government policy and governance of Indigenous Australia, and the development of major interest and research in Australia about governance and leadership. In particular, this paper draws on research undertaken by the Indigenous Community Governance Project (2004–08). It includes material sourced through bibliographic searches on ProQuest and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, peer reviewed journal articles and books, significant government research and evaluation reports, and material from university-based discussion papers. With only a handful of exceptions, all research referred to in this paper is in the public domain.
Janet Hunt, 2013, Engaging with Indigenous Australia — Exploring the conditions for effective relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Volume:Closing the Gap Clearinghouse, Report, viewed 30 November 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3457.