The CLC is supporting Aboriginal development in the challenging Central Australian environment. External factors, particularly the ongoing disadvantage and marginalisation of many Aboriginal people, combined with the continued erosion of Aboriginal voice, power and control over community affairs, impacts on the capacity of Aboriginal people and their organisations to achieve development outcomes. In 2005 the CLC embarked on a major new area of work in setting up a Community Development (CD) program to support transformational development with social, cultural and economic outcomes.
- Aboriginal Central Australians continue to be an extremely disadvantaged group in terms of key social, economic and health indicators. Remoteness, diversity and the intercultural context create inherent development challenges. The Indigenous policy frameworks of the Commonwealth and Northern Territory (NT) Governments over the last decade have added to these challenges by seriously eroding the power and control of Aboriginal Central Australians over community matters important to them.
- For the CLC ‘community development’ is a way of working that involves a set of principles and a specific process that builds Aboriginal ownership and control and strengthens groups or communities through the achievement of their own social, cultural, environmental and economic objectives.
- Community development builds stronger and more self-reliant individuals and groups that are better able to identify priorities and meet needs and therefore have greater control over their lives, communities and futures.
- The goal of the CLC CD Program is that Aboriginal people will be strong and resilient and able to live well in both the remote Aboriginal context, by maintaining their identity, language, culture and connection to country, and mainstream Australian society, through better health, education, training and more employment.
The CLC aims to maximise opportunities for Aboriginal engagement, ownership and control, particularly in relation to the management of resources that belong to them.