Promoting Aboriginal peoples access to council services

The best way to promote Aboriginal access to services is to seek advice from Aboriginal people themselves. The following suggestions may be useful to start discussion.

  • The employment of Aboriginal people as council staff is an important recognition of local communities and provides councils with expert knowledge. But this does not replace the necessity for structured consultation and negotiation with local communities. No one person can represent all the views of local communities
  • Establishing relationships with Aboriginal peoples and local Aboriginal organisations including Aboriginal Land Councils, Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Education organisations
  • The incorporation of Aboriginal protocols (such as displaying the Aboriginal flag) demonstrates to Aboriginal communities that their issues are an integral part of council business
  • Aboriginal cultural awareness training for all council employees and councillors helps ensure everyone is on the same page, understanding key issues of importance, clarifying and dispelling myths, and helping to ensure council policies and procedures meet the needs of every sector of the community
  • Establishing an effective and responsive complaints management procedure, and ensuring the staff develops good conflict resolution skills, helps strengthen credibility with Aboriginal people.