Abstract: What can help make small remote communities sustainable? This booklet arose out of field work for the Sustainable Desert Settlements project, a core project of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre. The aim was to study mostly small remote communities to find factors that promoted sustainability. Researchers worked closely with six communities in four Australian States/Territories for up to three years. In this booklet we have arranged some of the broad lessons learned from those communities and some questions people could ask in discussions about the future of their communities. One of the key lessons shown in our research is that: While some people think ‘problems’ in small remote communities are because of environmental or technical issues – such as supplies of water, food, housing, fuel, medical services – many of the really difficult issues were people issues – such as how to live together, access to relevant knowledge and education, gender and family needs, leadership succession, surviving changes in government policies and managing government memory of community meetings. People issues underpinned much of whether a community was sustainable or not.