ANU Urban Indigenous Research Network

Changing the Relationship between Government and First Peoples: why local government matters

Professor Heidi Norman University of Technology Sydney

When: Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Time: 3pm to 4pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre 3, CBE Building 26C, Kingsley Street, Acton ACT 2601


Professor Heidi Norman is a leading researcher in the field of Australian Aboriginal political history. Her research sits in the field of history and draws on the cognate disciplines anthropology, political-economy, cultural studies and political theory. She has made significant contributions to the understanding of Aboriginal social, cultural, economic and political history where she addresses questions of power in relation to Aboriginal citizens, the state and settler society and Aboriginal land justice. She will present on her ARC IDP18 The Aboriginal land estate in NSW: opportunities for economic activity.


Studies of the relationship between Aboriginal people and government often overlook the role of local government. Historically, local government have played a key role in spatial segregation and have overseen inequitable service delivery. Local government has a more immediate and intimate presence in our lives, are responsible for important services and infrastructure and from 2018, have increased responsibilities in relation to the Aboriginal land estate. This paper examines the relationship between Aboriginal citizens and landholders and local government and considers the possibilities for transforming the institution of local government to better accommodate Aboriginal populations and land holding rights and interests. Light refreshments will be served following the talk.

Date & time

Wed 28 Aug 2019, 3–4pm


Lecture Theater 3, CBE Building 26C, Kingsley Street, Acton ACT 2601


Professor Heidi Norman


Annick Thomassin


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