...This report identifies a number of critical factors for effective practice which are designed to assist practitioners and others involved in the design and delivery of a dispute management
process. They highlight the importance of parties’ ownership of processes, of careful preparation, and of working with the parties to design processes which can meet their procedural, substantive and emotional needs. Critical factors also relate to the implementation and sustainability of agreements, and the attributes and skills of effective practitioners in the Indigenous context.

...The report also examines the need for various kinds of support, without which effective practices cannot be realised, and presents a series of strategies for implementing effective practice to assist those with responsibilities for the development and delivery of dispute management services. Identified strategies relate to:

  • education and awareness initiatives for communities and those who work with or provide services to Indigenous people;
  • a range of training initiatives which recognise prior learning and are designed and delivered in culturally competent ways;
  • professional support, appropriate remuneration and career opportunities for practitioners working in the Indigenous context;
  • whole-of-community approaches that are facilitated by community engagement facilitators to ensure that agencies work together to deliver effective services; and
  • dispute management service infrastructure at national, state/territory, regional and local levels.
...A national investment in an effective Indigenous dispute management service would ultimately create significant social and economic benefits. It would enhance the potential for sustainable partnerships with Indigenous peoples, avoid the costs of Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system, and strengthen governance and social cohesion in Indigenous communities. The functions of a national Indigenous dispute management service are therefore integral to ‘closing the gap’ on Indigenous disadvantage and to the building of safer, self-sustaining Indigenous communities.


A full-text version of Solid work you mob are doing: Case studies in Indigenous dispute resolution and conflict management in Australia is available from the website of the Federal Court of Australia.