New Report Explores Indigenous Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Australia
Oct 13, 2009
In September the Indigenous Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management Case Study Project released the report Solid work you mob are doing: Case studies in Indigenous Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management in Australia. The report presents recommendations for improving conflict management work in the Indigenous context drawn from three in-depth case studies and several smaller snap shot studies.
According to the Executive Summary:
...The findings of the Project have relevance to all who do business with Indigenous communities. This includes those working in a broad range of areas including health,housing, education; natural resource management; native title; social and emotional wellbeing; Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) initiatives; income support; taxation; child support; employment; consumer advocacy; business development; Indigenous governance; corporate social responsibility; agreement-making; microfinance; family relationships and community cohesion; youth and children’s services; social and emotional wellbeing; welfare reforms; criminal and restorative justice; cultural heritage protection and repatriation of cultural materials; and reconciliation.
...This report identifies a number of critical factors for effective practice which are designed to assist practitioners and others involved in the design and delivery of a dispute management
process. They highlight the importance of parties’ ownership of processes, of careful preparation, and of working with the parties to design processes which can meet their procedural, substantive and emotional needs. Critical factors also relate to the implementation and sustainability of agreements, and the attributes and skills of effective practitioners in the Indigenous context.
...The report also examines the need for various kinds of support, without which effective practices cannot be realised, and presents a series of strategies for implementing effective practice to assist those with responsibilities for the development and delivery of dispute management services. Identified strategies relate to:
- education and awareness initiatives for communities and those who work with or provide services to Indigenous people;
- a range of training initiatives which recognise prior learning and are designed and delivered in culturally competent ways;
- professional support, appropriate remuneration and career opportunities for practitioners working in the Indigenous context;
- whole-of-community approaches that are facilitated by community engagement facilitators to ensure that agencies work together to deliver effective services; and
- dispute management service infrastructure at national, state/territory, regional and local levels.
A full-text version of Solid work you mob are doing: Case studies in Indigenous dispute resolution and conflict management in Australia is available from the website of the Federal Court of Australia.