The Aboriginal community sector and the effective delivery of services: Acknowledging the role of Indigenous sector organisations

The Aboriginal community sector and the effective delivery of services: Acknowledging the role of Indigenous sector organisations Report

DKCRC Working Paper

  • Author(s): Sullivan, P
  • Published: 2010
  • Publisher: Desert Knowledge CRC
  • Volume: 73

Abstract: This is the second in a series of three papers on servicing remote Aboriginal communities for the Desert Knowledge CRC. The first paper suggested that bureaucratic control of programs for servicing desert settlements is inherently too slow in responding to demand, inefficient in the application of resources, and prone to errors introduced through long supply chains. This paper proposes that the direct suppliers of services to desert communities, the organisations in the Indigenous sector,1 have been neglected as an essential component of any plan for improved services. All facets of existence in remote communities are affected by at least one, and often many, Aboriginal not-for-profit organisations. Yet, as the third paper in this series will discuss, they receive little attention in the current policy environment established by the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (COAG 2008). This current paper makes two related points about the sector: firstly, that it has distinct characteristics that deserve recognition (see Rowse 2005); but, secondly, that it is also a unique part of the not-for-profit sector in general. The not-for-profit sector has an important role in Australian public life (see Productivity Commission 2009a). Organisations within the sector often struggle in an unfriendly political and regulatory environment (see Sullivan 2009) and the Indigenous sector shares many of the problems of the sector as a whole. This paper aims both to describe the dimensions and importance of the Indigenous sector, and to explore its position in relation to mainstream community not-for-profit organisations in general. The final paper in this series will argue that the current policy environment established by the National Indigenous Reform Agreement is remiss in neglecting some three decades of experience accumulated by the Indigenous sector and in redirecting the Commonwealth’s responsibilities, which the sector has fulfilled as a proxy, towards state and territory governments.

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Suggested Citation
Sullivan, P, 2010, The Aboriginal community sector and the effective delivery of services: Acknowledging the role of Indigenous sector organisations, Volume:73, Report, viewed 13 June 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=4864.

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