The ongoing impacts of colonisation mean that self-determination is particularly important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Self-determination ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups can make their own decisions about their governance.


Self-determination means different things to different groups, and there are many ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are gaining greater control over their lives and affairs. Many groups are focusing on:


  • enhancing their capacity to effectively govern treaty negotiations
  • enacting their rights as sovereign nations
  • increasing their self-determined development.

What this means is that there are many views about how to best achieve self-determination.

Indigenous Governance Toolkit

Our Toolkit is a free online resource developed to support Indigenous communities and organisations to strengthen their governance practices. It offers a comprehensive collection of practical information, tools, templates, case studies and videos.


Self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples


Nation building, treaty and development


Nation building in practice

Other resources

Factsheet > Nation building and development

Governance for nation building is about the practical mechanisms that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use to collectively organise how they go about trying to get the things done that matter most to them. It is self-determination in action.


View factsheet


View all resources

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