Territory Stories

Community engagement report



Community engagement report

Other title

Socom + DodsonLane; Our home, our homeland; NTG outstations policy


Socom + DodsonLane


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Aboriginal Australians -- Services for -- Northern Territory; Aboriginal Australians -- Government policy -- Northern Territory; Sparsely populated areas -- Northern Territory; Northern Territory -- Politics and government -- 2001-

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



60 p. ; 30 cm.

File type


Copyright owner

Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

to homelands in order to better understand views raised by some participants throughout the community engagement sessions. Outstation resource agencies (ORAs) and prior to July 1, 2008, some local government councils, delivered essential and other services to a majority of homelands across the Territory beginning, in some cases, back in the 1970s. Of these service agencies, ORAs have been judged to provide a significant mediating role between homeland residents and government funding and service agencies over the last 20 or so years.3 On July 1 2008, 8 new bush shires were instituted across the Territory replacing numerous local government bodies. These new Shires have currently taken over responsibility for the delivery of services to around a third of all outstations and homelands currently funded through the Municipal and Essential Services (MUNS) program. In contrast, 26 ORAs now provide such services to the remaining twothirds of all MUNS-funded outstations and homelands. Following the community engagement sessions in December 2008, it is clear to the authors that the experience of service delivery to outstations and homelands by residents themselves is diverse. That is, some homeland residents praised the service provision delivered by their respective ORA or Shire. However, many had major criticisms or questions regarding both level and frequency of services. For example, residents from one homeland in Central Australia stated that they had not received any response from their service agency for a period of 3 days after their water supply had run out due to a broken pump. The clear definition of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of both ORAs and Shires in the provision of services will significantly contribute to the continuing sustainability of homelands. Finally, throughout the community engagement sessions, the authors were frequently presented with current and future visions of homeland life which included: IT solutions (broadband; wireless) for education, health, communications and enterprise delivery. Participation in the emerging industry of carbon trading/ abatement. Participation in eco-tourism, coastal and regional security provision and caring for country/ land management activities. Provision of climate change knowledge to government and industry. Cultural mediation and exchange services to the wider Territory and Australian communities. Provision of cross-cultural education and art-based programs. Therefore, the authors acknowledge that the future history of homelands lies in their successful innovation and utilisation of emerging economic opportunities and technologies. 2006. In search of an outstations policy for Indigenous Australians. CAEPR Working Paper 34. (www.anu.edu.au/caepr/working.php) 3 Jon Altman, (op. cit.) 2006: 6; the reader should note that Altman was also involved in a review of ORAs for ATSIC that was carried out between 1997-8 and published as Altman, J, Gillespie, D. & Palmer, K. 1999. National Review of Resource Agencies servicing Indigenous communities. (ATSIC, Canberra) NTG Outstations Policy: Community Engagement Report Socom + DodsonLane 6 January 2009 http://www.anu.edu.au/caepr/working.php

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.