Through their connection to and care for Country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are vital partners in sustaining important environmental services. Partnering that involves Indigenous Australians offers unique opportunities to respectfully combine the strengths of traditional and other knowledge and practice, and to find avenues for achieving broader economic, health, social and cultural benefits.
Partnering with Indigenous organisations guidance document
The Partnering with Indigenous organisations for a sustainable environment document is a resource for people from non-Indigenous organisations looking to build effective and respectful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and communities.
The recommendations provided are intended as guidance only, and it is worth noting that:
- Not all of the content will be applicable, so choose, expand, adapt, and create as appropriate by working with the partnering community or organisation.
- Readers are encouraged to develop their cultural awareness and competence. While keeping in mind the different experiences Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations have will shape the way they want to partner.
- The department understands that no single document would be able to capture the viewpoints, values, and needs of Indigenous Australia. In no way is this document meant to be representative of all Indigenous Australian people.
Potential Partners are encouraged to consider the value Indigenous organisations can bring to partnerships
Potential Partners are encouraged to consider opportunities to engage Indigenous organisations as partners and/or to consider opportunities to deliver broader benefits for Indigenous communities as part of their Partnering Proposal. Our Guide for Potential Partners when completing a Partnering Proposal outlines important principles for Indigenous engagement:
- Potential Partners must ensure they are familiar with laws, administrative arrangements and other developments relevant to Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural expressions as well as intellectual property rights. Where necessary seek appropriate expert advice on intellectual property issues.
- All Partnering Proposals must recognise and acknowledge continuing Indigenous ownership of the traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and intellectual property rights in the materials used in the Partnering Proposal, and protect the privacy, integrity and wellbeing of Indigenous partners.
- Potential Partners must gain Free, prior and informed consent before seeking to include Indigenous persons, organisations or communities in their Partnering Proposal.
- Potential Partners must gain Free, prior and informed consent before seeking to utilise any property (including intellectual property and traditional knowledge) of Indigenous persons, organisations or communities in their Partnering Proposal.