ROBYNNE - For me governance is, at a very general level, is about how people get things done, it’s about the ways people want to move to organise themselves, to get things done that they want to get done.
MICK - I think generally the challenge is around self-determination and what that means, and how can Indigenous people organise their governance that enhances their social and economic development, without forgetting that Indigenous governance operates in a cultural space and in an Indigenous context, and how you maximise the governance outcomes considering all those things.
JODIE - We have many of the solutions but part of the challenge is the collaboration and the coming together and making it accessible...
But there's greater challenges across the, you know, those broader environmental and system wide challenges. Particularly the Prescribed Body Corporates is a good example of that. So there's many different levels of the challenges that we face but I think if we can come together and tackle them as a you know, united collective, it can, that's the best chance of making progress forward.
Up in the Torres Strait the Prescribed Body Corporates have on average 0.1 staff and an average of $20,000 so how they are expected to fulfil their obligations and duties of what they're intended to set up to be, you know... It's hard.
MICK - I'm interested in self-determination because I think that's the solution. I mean self-determination in an Indigenous sense that actually delivers power and decision making to people and enables them through the ways in which they want to manage and organise themselves - enables them to be in charge of their social and economic development and allows them to maintain their cultural values in that space.
JODIE – I guess in a nutshell, it’s supporting our communities and our people to be self-determined and self-managing in what we do and how do we do that across the great diversity? Because where we are doing it well, we are doing it exceptionally well, we’re doing it better than any other mainstream organisations. We’re able to understand our cultural needs and value our culture and embed that in the work that we do.
ROBYNNE - We put a lot of thought into the structure of the two days... And I think we are getting a good sense of the scope of research and resource and tools, if I can call it tools, that are out there, and I think we're also getting a good sense of people's need and the way people think about this, the way they define the issues, how they want the issues addressed. Some of the big questions like; what do we mean by culture? What do we mean by governance? What do we really know? What do we do at the risk of duplication? How are we going to deal with that? Are there too many people out there doing similar things? How do we use the resources we have to maximise outcomes for Indigenous people?
MICK - I don't know what the outcomes will be. But the reason we’re here is to exchange ideas, to talk about governance, it's a workshop so workshop these ideas and the issues that persist in Indigenous governance in this country. And I'm pleased that we've got some international representation here so we can examine what happens in other countries.
JODIE - The relationships you make with people in being able to connect with them, that you form these relationships but it continues outside of this room, that is really crucial and I think, even having worked in the space, particularly in governance for 10 years but in Aboriginal affairs for 20 years but still having met new people in the room today, I think we can support each other and continue forward I think that's a really positive outcome.
ROBYNNE - That's absolutely right and some of the next steps might be to identify particular issues that we might come and deal with specifically rather than, we've done a bit of an overview this time and we might hone down some specific priorities that we might really pursue again in the future.