An Indigenous governance strategic analysis tool: Concepts, design and practice Issues

Terry Ngamandarra Wilson, Gulach (detail), painting on bark, private collection © Terry Ngamandarra, licensed by Viscopy, 2016
Terry Ngamandarra Wilson, Gulach (detail), painting on bark, private collection © Terry Ngamandarra, licensed by Viscopy, 2016


Australian Indigenous governance is located in a high-pressured, complex jigsaw puzzle of powers, structures and legal decision-making mechanisms, at local, regional and national levels. This can undermine the ways that Indigenous peoples wish to collectively govern themselves and their ‘nation building’ aspirations, leaving little time and energy to reflect on where groups want to be in the future.

CAEPR, the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI) and several Indigenous partners in The Indigenous Governance of Development: Self-Determination and Success Project are exploring how Indigenous nations and polities are building their self-determined governance and development agendas. A related goal is a practical tool which groups can use in strengthening their efforts and assessing whether they are on track. Without a collectively created picture of the future to guide decision-making, opportunities for desired benefit can be lost, and the imposed agenda of outsiders becomes dominant.

The design of the tool is an integral part of the project’s research methodology. The tool will be tested as part of the Indigenous research partner’s own ‘place based’ journeys. AIGI will host the tool on its online Indigenous Governance Toolkit, making it accessible to others and able to be updated.

The seminar considers the challenges involved in designing and trialling such an inward-looking, self-reflexive tool.


Toni Bauman is a Research Fellow at CAEPR in the Indigenous Governance and Development project. She is an anthropologist, coach, mediator, facilitator and trainer and was for a number of years the AIATSIS Senior Research Fellow in governance, public policy and cultural competence. She has published widely, made presentations to a range of national and international audiences, facilitated many workshops and forums, and been involved in developing policy for Indigenous organisations and governments. Toni has over thirty years of experience in Indigenous land and native title claims, governance, agreement-making, decision-making and dispute management processes including free, prior and informed consent, joint management of protected areas, government policy, cultural competence, art and craft, program evaluation, partnerships, and feasibility studies. She has worked as a staff member and consultant for government departments, statutory authorities and Indigenous organisations.

Date & time

Wed 17 Nov 2021, 12–1.30pm



Toni Bauman, Research Fellow, CAEPR


Tracy Deasey
02 61252053


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