Since 2020, the building and centring of Aboriginal community capabilities and control in Yuwaya Ngarrali’s work has been a key enabler of all other areas as well as an area of significant achievement in itself. Important DEG-led efforts have resulted in 32 outcomes relating to ACCO capability and control, with a further 51 outcomes associated with community-led emergency response and community troubleshooting. Walgett Elders and community voices have been prominent in national media stories on topics as varied the government’s response to COVID, food and water security, floodplain harvesting and homelessness. DEG and YN’s agenda setting on food and water security in particular has led to Ministerial level visits to Walgett and commitments to long-term solutions to safe drinking water that is having systemic impact. Within our team we have embedded important learning about how to recruit, develop and retain Aboriginal staff members that provide a model that could be embedded elsewhere. And we are developing a new ACCO capability unit that could provide an innovative model enabling ACCOs to flourish and lead change in communities across NSW nationally that could enable significant progress in Closing the Gap targets and self-determination.

Aerial view of Walgett
Aerial view of Walgett

DEG made a submission 6 October 2023 to provide information to the Productivity Commission Review of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap Draft Report. It provided advice from our work in our Yuwaya Ngarrali partnership with UNSW to Close the Gap. 

This advice is offered on:

  • the effectiveness of police partnerships,
  • shifting service delivery to ACCOs,
  • transformation of government organisations,
  • indigneous data sovereignty and Priority Reform 4,
  • performance reporting tools,
  • the quality of implementation plans and annual reports,
  • the need for multiple modes of Indigenous participation in identifying community priorities and community-led solutions to systemic problems undtil greater structural reform is achieved,
  • reflections on RSD v1 and current v2 in NSW and
  • the role of a Senior leader to drive change in the public sector, and sector-specific accountability mechanisms.