The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council's (NSWALC) Strategic Plan sets the organisation's direction and prioritises its efforts towards achieving this renewal. It also gets everyone – our Council, staff, Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) and the broader Aboriginal Land Rights movement on the same page so that we are all working towards the same goals. While this Strategic Plan was being developed, NSWALC Councillors participated in the forum that produced the Uluru Statement from the Heart. NSWALC seeks to fulfil the aims of the statement in NSW by working to secure a process that will culminate in a Treaty or Treaties for Aboriginal people.
- Securing the return of land to Aboriginal people and ensuring access to their lands and waters is the core business of NSWALC. As Aboriginal people, our lands and waters are central to our being. Land and water are essential to the spiritual, social, cultural and economic survival of our communities. We must ensure that lands and waters are well managed so as to protect the vital importance they have to Aboriginal people.
- As Aboriginal people we are the inheritors of the oldest living cultures in the world. Our culture and heritage are essential to our survival as distinct, self-determining peoples. We cannot create a secure future for our descendants unless our culture and heritage is protected.
- Restoring economic independence and prosperity to Aboriginal communities is essential to our survival as a distinct, self-determining people. Economic independence is also necessary if we are to unlock the full potential of Aboriginal Land Rights and ensure the effective management of land that has been returned.
- Ensuring the social wellbeing of Aboriginal people must accompany the achievement of Aboriginal Land Rights and economic independence. Without social wellbeing, reacquiring our land will be hollow and securing economic independence impossible. We must also ensure that securing access to our lands waters and compensation for past wrongdoings does not absolve governments of providing services to Aboriginal people that are our rights as citizens.
- We have stewardship responsibilities to ensure that a stronger system is handed to the next generation. The other goals of this Strategic Plan are essential to providing Aboriginal people with a pathway to a secure future but they are not suffi cient. We need to underpin our Strategic Plan with actions that are prudent and future orientated.
This Strategic Plan sets NSWALC’s direction and priorities for the next five years. It also ensures that our Council, staff, LALCs and the broader Aboriginal Land Rights movement are all working towards the same goals.