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Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC)

The DSEWAPaC’s core business of helping to protect our environment and heritage, promote sustainability and biological diversity is inherently linked to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, centered on caring for land and sea country and protecting cultural heritage.

This makes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians key partners for the Department in developing and implementing policies, programs, legislation and stakeholder relationships essential to delivering better environmental outcomes.

Cox Inall Ridgeway supported the Department’s work through the development of an Indigenous Engagement Guidelines Package, which provided departmental staff with guidance for engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as they go about their work in natural resource management of Indigenous controlled and other lands.

The scope of work required us to conduct a literature review of existing Indigenous engagement guidelines, consult with the Department’s divisions and key Indigenous stakeholders, provide recommendations for, and draft an Indigenous Engagement Guidelines package.

The guidelines have helped to improve relationships between staff and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in which they work, leading to better cultural understanding and a breakdown of some of the barriers that existed in delivering programs and services to protect our environment.