Engagement and Governance

Devel­op­ing new economies on Abo­rig­i­nal land for the ben­e­fit of the Tra­di­tion­al Own­ers is not just about gen­er­at­ing jobs. Cen­tre­far­m’s vision and com­mit­ment is for local peo­ple to con­fi­dent­ly con­trol the economies them­selves, mak­ing deci­sions about what direc­tion to take, and hav­ing the busi­ness acu­men to sup­port those deci­sions. This is a long-term process and entails learn­ing on both sides to secure success.

Cen­tre­far­m’s Cor­po­rate and Pol­i­cy branch is coor­di­nat­ing an inno­v­a­tive approach to this that engages with the mem­bers and direc­tors of asso­ci­at­ed Abo­rig­i­nal com­pa­nies in a two-way (Abo­rig­i­nal and non-Abo­rig­i­nal) dia­logue on land man­age­ment and gov­er­nance in statu­to­ry and cus­tom­ary law.

Ask­ing ques­tions such as: How is land man­aged? For what pur­pose? What are the gov­er­nance struc­tures that enable this? Why are things done the way they are? The dia­logue deals simul­ta­ne­ous­ly with top­ics includ­ing the Abo­rig­i­nal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976, leas­es, con­tracts, bal­ance sheets and prof­it-and-loss, and with kin­ship, and the way knowl­edge is gen­er­at­ed, held and transmitted.

The dia­logue is ben­e­fit­ting from the exper­tise of Cen­tre­farm affil­i­ates Ker­rie Nel­son and Craig San Roque, work­ing close­ly with the mem­bers and direc­tors of Abo­rig­i­nal com­pa­nies. It is a long-term process but one that is already bear­ing fruit at Alekarenge.

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