A Better Way: Building healthy, safe and sustainable communities in the Northern Territory through a community development approach
Informed by the failures of the existing policy settings, the paper argues for an alternative framework (‘A Better Way’) to create safe, healthy and sustainable communities through a community development approach. In making the case for such an approach, the paper draws on lessons from international development and the Harvard Project to highlight the connection between governance, empowerment, community development and economic development. Key principles which underpin a community development approach are then identified based on these lessons and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, endorsed by the Australian Government. The potential of a community development approach to create social, economic and cultural benefits in NT communities is then explored. Finally, the paper analyses the directions outlined in the Government’s Stronger Futures paper against community development principles. It makes a series of recommendations for a longer-term community development future for NT remote communities, drawing on the work and recommendations of a range of Aboriginal organisations and research bodies.