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Projects Underway


Approaches to developing cultural capability

A longstanding practice barrier to achieving positive change in the relationship between Aboriginal communities and the NSW Government is the cultural capability of NSW public service employees. Several programs are in use in NSW to increase this capability with considerable variation in the approach taken and the material covered. With reference to two approaches to developing cultural capability, this explorative study will examine the similarities and differences in the perspectives of NSW public service employees and Aboriginal people about what constitutes culturally sensitive and appropriate practice. The study will be undertaken in partnership with the National Centre for Cultural Competence at The University of Sydney.


How relationships between First Peoples and government are understood - Key concepts and issues

OCHRE is the NSW Government’s plan for Aboriginal affairs. OCHRE represents an ongoing commitment to fundamentally change the relationship between the NSW Government and Aboriginal communities through agreement making. To achieve a transformation in relationships, a greater understanding is required of what needs changing and how the changes can be achieved including the mechanisms enabling agreed change.

This research, undertaken in collaboration with Black Swan consulting, will examine the purpose served by any changed relationship; what is needed to support positive change; the mechanisms and forms used to achieve the change; how self-government and self-determination under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) are understood and how these concepts support positive change; the various scales at which relationships are negotiated (e.g. National, State, regional, local); the relationship between concepts of nation-building and community-building, and variation in views between the major actors.


The OCHRE evaluation: Stage 2 outcomes

In 2011, the NSW Government and Aboriginal communities started a conversation that resulted in the OCHRE initiatives. The Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW have been appointed to continue the conversation so that each Local Decision Making process, Aboriginal Language and Culture Nest and Opportunity Hub develops with local Aboriginal communities’ views in mind.

With the first stage complete, the conversations will move to discuss the outcomes, and focus on what it has achieved for the local Aboriginal communities in the short, medium and longer terms. These conversations will continue until June 2020.

The findings and recommendations from the first stage can be found here.

Further information about the evaluation can be found here.


The independent review of Aboriginal communities water and sewerage program

Currently being undertaken by the consulting engineers Arup, this independent evaluation will assess the efficiency and effectiveness to date of the Aboriginal Communities and Water Sewerage Program (ACWSP). In consultation with the program’s beneficiaries, the review will also develop a Program Logic Model to measure its long-term success.


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