Getting permission is essential before starting work on any council project that has an impact directly on Aboriginal communities. Aboriginal people have a strong sense of owning their history and knowledge and being in control of their future. This ownership has often been ignored in the past.

Getting permission involves forming strong partnerships with Aboriginal organisations. They can advise on the correct protocol for gaining consent. Permission will rarely be refused if the purpose of the work is clearly understood and the way of undertaking the work is properly negotiated. Where it is refused, the reason may relate to issues that are sacred or taboo, related to a death custom, or be specifically women’s or men’s business.