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NGO Forums: Alice Springs and Darwin


APO NT NGO Forum, February 2013, Alice Springs 

Acknowledging the increase of mainstream providers in service delivery and through the reports of the previous NT Coordinator General and the previous Commonwealth Coordinator General, APO NT held a landmark forum for NGO organisations in February 2013 in Alice Springs. This forum was the first gathering of its kind in the NT and brought together sixty participants from twenty-seven mainstream NGOs and six NT Aboriginal peak organisations. At this forum, APO NT presented a set of draft principles designed to guide how non-Aboriginal organisations can act to support Aboriginal organisations and service delivery capacity and work in partnership, rather than in competition with us. The finalised partnership principles have been signed by a number of mainstream NGOs. The signing of these principles indicates their commitment to supporting and working with Aboriginal organisations.

On 31 October 2013 Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT, Strong Aboriginal Families, Together (SAF,T), The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, NTCOSS and ACOSS  launched of the “Principles for developing partnership centred approaches for non-Indigenous NGOs working with Aboriginal Organisations and Communities in the NT” in Darwin at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA).

A copy of the Media Release issued on 31 October 2013 can be found here: 131031 – APO NT Media Release – NGO principles endorsement

APO NT NGO Workshop, June 2014, Darwin

With the financial assistance from Reconciliation Australia, APO NT were able to hold a second NGO forum in Darwin on 26-27 June.

The NGO Forum in Darwin aimed to:

  • provide an opportunity for Aboriginal organisations to come together with mainstream NGOs to discuss the best way to build productive partnerships between Aboriginal and mainstream organisations;
  • bring a greater degree of operational guidance to the Partnership principles to be grounded in tangible outcomes; and,
  • share examples of good practice, and to highlight positive examples where the principles have already started to make an outcome.

The Darwin workshop was held over two days. The first day was for Aboriginal organisations to come together to discuss the NGO partnership arrangements and principles and to hear from Aboriginal organisations on their experiences with mainstream NGOs and in the wider community. Outcomes of the first day can be found here: 140811 – NGO Forum – Key issues for Aboriginal organisations

On the second day, Aboriginal organisations and the mainstream NGOs identified and explored opportunities to apply the NGO principles and develop meaningful partnership arrangements where opportunities exist. Outcomes of the second day can be found here: 140811 – Outcomes of APO NT NGO Forum Darwin 27 June 2014