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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


Partnering with Indigenous organisations for a sustainable environment

Guidance for non-Indigenous organisations seeking to build effective and respectful partnerships with Indigenous organisations and communities
Government relations with First Peoples Environmental management Indigenous knowledge Australia

The document was written by the Department of Environment and Energy in consultation with over 15 Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations from government, business, and not-forprofit sectors.
This document encourages anyone considering a partnership with Indigenous organisations to develop their cultural awareness and competency. Developing context around Aboriginal and/or Torres Islander people’s different needs and experiences should be taken into account when partnering. Training undertaken is best done specific for the organisation’s location and not just as a one-off event in order to contribute meaningfully to the journey towards cultural competency.

Key Findings:

  • The report recommends the development of a clear purpose for seeking to include an Indigenous group or organisation in a partnership. This purpose goes beyond the need to ‘tick a box’ for engagement. Know why you are approaching the organisation or community to explore a potential partnership. Consider the value of the Indigenous involvement and what the partnership can offer to the Indigenous group or organisation in exchange. Be careful not to pre-determine the partnership form, process or objectives before discussing this as this needs to be Indigenous-led. Seek feedback and guidance on the identified value and benefits, to guide the partnership development.
  • It is essential to get in contact with the right group or organisation for the geographic region and subject matter of engagement, and to develop a general understanding of the local context.
  • The legacy of the partnership needs to be considered beyond the life of the projects in order for relationships and trust to be sustained. This is important to create a sense of togetherness and joining as a part of a wider Australian community.
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