Culture is a central part of people’s lives. It influences their perspectives and values, and shapes what they want and do not want. In this way, governance cannot be separated from culture.


Culture has always been an integral part of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups govern themselves.


Every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group has a unique culture. But there are some important deep cultural features that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups share. These include:


  • networked systems of kinship and family support
  • deep connection to Country (lands and waters)
  • value of ceremony, traditions and ritual
  • respect for law and the authority of Elders
  • respect for women’s and men’s areas of knowledge
  • mutual responsibility and sharing of resources.

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.


Centre your culture


Culture-smart governance

Your culture – Factsheet

Other resources

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