Abstract: Indigenous people in Western Australia have traditionally been excluded from State decision-making processes and bureaucratic structures that impact on their lives. Sustainability, as an emerging paradigm, is primarily concerned with reconciling the value and ethical conflicts between and within stakeholder groups, including government and the community. Facilitating inclusion and participation of all stakeholders is thus a necessary pillar of sustainability. The differences that exist, and arise primarily through cultural mismatch, between mainstream Western bureaucracy and Indigenous communities provide an appropriate basis in which to examine the necessary reconciliation of values required for sustainability. This paper provides reflections on a case study of Indigenous access to mainstream social housing (i.e. public and community housing) in Geraldton, Western Australia. It concludes with the necessary transformation of the research agenda, of policy and the public service from what could be described as a passive director of programs and laws to a ‘whole-of-government’ facilitator of community processes and outcomes. Participatory methodologies are recommended within Western Australian Government agencies to allow them to build their capacity for participatory processes that involve the restructuring of power relations and the ability to cross culture required for dialogue and partnership with Indigenous communities.