Many Councils have provided leadership in relation to Aboriginal issues - the LGA and its national body the ALGA have sought in turn to provide leadership to Councils - some activities, often involving State and Federal support, are outlined below. To contact specific Councils click here. For some information about outback areas, click here.
Local Government/Aboriginal Service Agreement Project - Case Study and Guide
The above Guide, which was launched at the LGA AGM in October 2005, was prepared to assist Councils to develop agreements with Aboriginal organisations.
It features a checklist of steps to take, and issues to think about at each step, and offers practical guidance by showcasing an actual Alliance agreement developed by The Coorong District Council and the Raukkan Community Council (see below).
The Alliance agreement is part of the broader Local Government/Aboriginal Service Agreement Project, which has involved working together with a number of councils and community councils to explore the notion of service agreements and consider approaches to implementing them in South Australia. The Local Government/Aboriginal Service Agreement Project was initiated following a recommendation made in the Local Councils Belong to Aboriginal People 2 Report (see below)
The guide also highlights other partnerships in reconciliation and contains useful protocol tips, handy information about days of significance to Aboriginal people, and information about the Aboriginal Flag, to aid councils in their business practice.
Case Study and Guide - The Story of our Journey (3146 kb)
Terms of Reference for the Alliance Agreement (37 kb)
Model Framework and Process Guidelines (97 kb)
Coorong-Raukkan Alliance Agreement (141 kb)
Project Workshop Outcomes - Developing the Strategy (231 kb)
Information for Councils on Indigenous Protocols, Days of Significance and the Aboriginal Flag
As a part of the Agreement project outlined above, information was prepared for Councils as a guide to protocols such as a "welcome to country" or "acknowledgement statements", days of significance to Aboriginal communities and the official status of the Aboriginal flag. The information is contained in the guide above and can be downloaded separately here:
Information Papers on roles in relation to indigenous community issues
It is often confusing to communities to identify which government or which agency is responsible for particular issues. This can be particularly so in relation to indigenous communities. The following information papers were prepared as a part of a forum held early in the Local Government/Aboriginal Service Agreement Project (above) and were updated in February, 2006. They may be of use generally in communities, for aboriginal communities in particular or for Councils seeking to explain roles and responsibilities.
Info Sheet - About Local Government (21 kb)
Info Sheet - Infrastructure in Aboriginal Communities (33 kb)
Info Sheet - Local Government Council Services (22 kb)
Info Sheet - Strategic Management Planning Framework (16 kb)
Info Sheet - Local Government Rates (19 kb)
Info Sheet - Financial Assistance Grants (17 kb)
Info Sheet - Aboriginal Lands Trust (19 kb)
Info Sheet - Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (24 kb)
The support of the SA Office for State/Local Government Relations and other agencies referenced, in preparing and updating these papers is gratefully acknowledged.
Strategy and Policy
Councils are in a unique position to provide community leadership on reconciliation and Aboriginal affairs. In 1994 Local Government established a State-wide strategy for the first time called "Local Councils Belong to Aboriginal People Too". The strategy was reviewed in 2000 - documented in "Local Councils Belong to Aboriginal People 2".
This report contains the revised strategy adopted in 2000 by the LGA State Executive Committee along with information resulting from a survey of Councils, compared with similar work in 1994.
In the same year Councils adopted a new reconciliation policy at its Annual General Meeting (click here to view full LGA Policy Manual) and jointly published with the Office of Local Government a booklet of examples of Councils and their Aboriginal communities working together. Copies of this booklet are available from the LGA (or a scanned black and white version can be downloaded in parts here: Part 1 532 kb Part 2 772 kb Part 3 557 kb).
In 2002 the LGA implemented an indigenous election project designed to ensure Aboriginal citizens were aware of their voting rights and how to nominate for Councils. It was funded by the National Office of Local Government and by the SA Office of Local Government. The project produced a guide for Councils, a poster and three fact sheets, in the lead up to the May, 2003 elections. About 7 Aboriginal candidates nominated in the elections with one being successful.
The resources are again being updated for the 2006 Council Elections. (See www.lga.sa.gov.au/goto/elections for more information about the elections)
The updated 2006 resource guide is now available
The LGA is also working with the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconcilitation Division to hold some Local Government Information Sessions in July 2006 which will specifically target Aboriginal community leaders and networks. It is hoped that Aboriginal participants at these forums can act as ambassadors to promote involvement by standing as a candidate and/or voting in the November 2006 Council Elections.
Resources prepared for the 2003 elections can be found below.
A publication of the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) may also be of interest to potential indigenous candidates and can be found on the web here: "Making the decision to get involved in Local Government".
Further information about Local Government and Aboriginal issues can be found on the Australian Local Government Association's website.
A separate page on this site contains information regarding Native Title matters.