"Two Way" Management in Aboriginal Organisations in Central Australia

2017-06-06T03:44:52Z (GMT) by Bell, Wendy, Dr Schaber, Evelyn
Little is known about the self-managed and controlled Aboriginal Organisations in Central Australia. In fact, until recently, outside the Northern Territory many Australians had no idea that these organisations existed. Yet they have been described as 'among the most influential, important and innovative Aboriginal Organisations in Australia'. To date there has been little research on how Aboriginal cultural traditions impact on the way Aboriginal controlled organisations are managed in modem Australia, nor on those who manage them. Representations of Aboriginal organisations in the popular Australian media rarely move beyond the superficial view, depicting Aboriginal organisations as all the same, and frequently in a negative light. Very little attention is paid to the reality of those who manage these organisations, nor of the value of the essential services they provide. Both of these are something which this paper sets out to address. This paper presents a profile of the Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal managers in the Combined Aboriginal Organisations of Central Australia. It was developed as part of a research project conducted in 1990 and 1995, designed to establish the training needs of the managers of these organisations. The results were translated into a curriculum for an Associate Diploma in Business (Aboriginal Organisations Management) and a Certificate in Vocational Studies, now accredited by the national training authority in Australia and offered to employees in these and other organisations in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and other remote communities by the Institute for Aboriginal Development (IAD). Follow-up research was conducted in 1995 as part of the process of course re-accreditation and decision-making on future directions.