The Foundation of Self-determination
Self-determination may be defined as the right of all peoples to 'freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development' (article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).
In 1972 the Commonwealth Government of Australia proclaimed a policy of 'self-determination' for Aboriginals, whereby they gained the right to make decisions about matters affecting their own lives, including the pace and nature of their future development within the legal, social and economic framework of Australian society [i]
In practice, the pace of implementation of this policy has lagged behind the intent, resulting in initiatives such as the National Agreement on Closing The Gap[ii]continuing to be introduced more than forty years later.
On Country’s project delivery model directly addresses the first two priority areas for Joint National Action Plan:
1. Formal partnerships and shared decision-making
2. Building the community-controlled sector
These areas provide an enabling platform for achievement of the sixteen socio-economic targets of the Agreement.