Winners and finalists of the 2022 Indigenous Governance Awards talk about the importance of developing the next generation of leaders and how succession planning takes place in their organisation...
- 01 Understanding governance
- 02 Culture and governance
- 03 Getting Started
- 04 Leadership
05 Governing the organisation
- 5.0 Governing the organisation
- 5.1 Roles, responsibilities and rights of a governing body
- 5.2 Accountability: what is it, to whom and how?
- 5.3 Decision making by the governing body
- 5.4 Governing finances and resources
- 5.5 Communicating
- 5.6 Future planning
- 5.7 Building capacity and confidence for governing bodies
- 5.8 Case Studies
- 06 Rules and policies
- 07 Management and staff
08 Disputes and complaints
- 8.0 Disputes and complaints
- 8.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous approaches
- 8.2 Core principles and skills for dispute and complaint resolution
- 8.3 Disputes and complaints about governance
- 8.4 Your members: Dealing with disputes and complaints
- 8.5 Organisations: dealing with internal disputes and complaints
- 8.6 Practical guidelines and approaches
- 8.7 Case Studies
- 09 Governance for nation rebuilding
- Governance Stories
- Useful links
- Preview new Toolkit
Ten steps for the foundations of strong governance
- Seriously consider an incremental approach. Start off with one or two achievable priorities, achieve success there and then build on that. With continued success, community leaders could consider tackling a broader range of issues in a comprehensive approach.
- Make sure your community is behind you. There are countless stories of leaders getting so far out in front of their members that when the time comes for community ratification, it fails because the members are hearing about the details for the first time. Your members give you the mandate to build governance.
- Make sure your leadership is credible. Leaders must include their members in community planning and implementation. Credible leaders work hard to involve and unite the entire community or nation, and engage wider networks to support solutions.
- Build capable and legitimate institutions. These are your laws, constitutions, regulations, rules, policies, and checks and balances. Use them to develop a strategic approach to rebuild your nation’s governance and identify priorities and the approach to be taken.
- Identify strategic priorities and concerns. You cannot do everything at once. The current generation may have particular needs that will change in the future. Some foundations need to be built now, and others can be built upon later.
- Look hard at genuine cultural solutions. Culture is a source of innovation. Look at your enduring cultural values and the realistic role they can play in revitalising your governance and nation. Leaders that embrace cultural integrity work hard to harness the strength and resilience of cultural roots in ways that are credible and workable in today’s world.
- Ensure the governance capacity and confidence of your people is being actively developed and continuously promoted. Do this in parallel with implementing your other strategic goals and agreements. Don’t leave this until a crisis hits. It is no use having authority unless you can practically implement and exercise it.
- Ask the hard questions along the way. This will help ensure that your governance solutions continue to work as you want them to. In other words, make sure you monitor and periodically review your checks and balances.
- Make sure you have a succession plan in place and that young leaders can contribute their new ideas now, not later. Leaders build for the future by mentoring youth who will carry on their good work long into the future.
- Create genuine strategic alliances with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations and with non-Indigenous supporters. Experiment with networked and collaborative governance arrangements that will support your agenda.
These 10 steps are drawn substantially from the governance research and writings of Dr Neil Sterritt; the Australian Indigenous Community Governance Research Project at The Australian National University; and the research of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Udall Centre, University of Arizona.