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Community Development


"Formal community development projects are necessary because traditional social and community structures that facilitated community action no longer exist" this is statement and need to write essay on it


Many primitive families and societies in the present day in Australia have to face tremendous challenges. People from these societies are sufferers because of various reasons. It has been noticed that their strength is one of the most important things which has been compromised because of various complex reasons. Since long they are going in the denial mode following their history, they are not ready to move ahead with the current scenario. Racism is the major flaw which they have been continuously following since long. As per the policies, they are sticking to their old formed policies of forcefully removing and absorbing the culture. These all factors are responsible for the poverty, lack of employment for their community, they are more violent in nature also the substance abuse is one of the most common problems among all. Definitely these all factors have their impact on the children of the indigenous community, children are malnourished, have poor education and also socially they are less developed as compared to the children from non-indigenous families.

The community development program in Australia is mainly focused upon the Aboriginal societies, since the period of the 1980s to the 21st century. Various Community development programs were launched by the Australian government for the betterment of the people concerned. Various schemes were formed under which the Aboriginal people were made to be employed. Schemes like “a work for the dole" under which even the non-government institutions were given the choice to apply for either full-time or part-time (Department of Human Services, 2016). These schemes were funded by the social security department. Heretofore Dr Jim of Curtin University came up with the textbook which enlightened people on the topic of community development.

Planning for developmental projects and delivering those services to Indigenous children and communities is actually a complicated exercise for the practitioners as well as for the policy makers. Social problems in the indigenous society are so deeply rooted that the approach needs to be in consideration with the history, and it should be in accordance with their social community and should meet the individual needs. Not only this, the culture of Australian Indigenous society is heterogeneous. The culture of the Indigenous community is considerably different. Their characteristics vary with geographic location; their variation is significant with the varied location. Their variation is significantly conspicuous across urban, agrarian and far-flung least accessible areas. 

THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME: The programmes meant for community development is for providing employment in the remote community and to incorporate the development services. The CDP works on two main area : firstly it helps in finding the right kind of job for the people and secondly they make them capable so that they can contribute to their own society and letting them gain various skills side by side  when they are looking up for their job.

With its great effort and results, CDP has become one of the most crucial parts of the agenda started by the Australian Government for the indigenous community (Central Land Council, 2016). CDP has been efficient in providing employment and also for breaking the dependency of remote people of Australia for their welfare.

The community development program is flexible in their functioning. They take the decision at the local level according to the scenario. So the solution is provided at local level. These programs let the job seekers to work for nearly 25 hours each week which in turn is beneficial for their society. The type of Activities they perform under these programs vary according to the person capability, depends on their community and most importantly its most suited according to their local market. These programmes are held majorly in the remote area so that more opportunities are provided for the people and development of these communities is also done side by side. Volunteers of the programme not help in getting them the appropriate job but also educate them for their better well-being and teach them how to continue their income support (Hunt, 2013).

All the participants who work under community development program in the remote areas of Australia all are entitled to personalized assistance by the providers, they help the participants to build up their skills, which in turn will help them in getting the better job and they will  be able to put their maximum effort and capability in right direction.  With these programs, the job seekers get the additional benefit of gaining at least six months of experience of working in real work environment.

Various programs and different projects have been designed from time to time by the Australian government for the wellbeing of the ingenious community. As these communities are failing and lacking in some basic needs. To fill up these socio-economics gaps as compared to mainstream people of Australia these programs come up as a great help for these societies. As these communities have the least interest in such programs because of their inherent culture which they are sticking to till date. The volunteers of these programs actually help the people from these communities to overcome their fallies and provide them with the better options with the latest engagement strategies for the development of the Aboriginal (Australian Government, 2016).

As these people are so naïve that it is like complete personality development programme is involved. The process of building up of their determination, strengthening of the community and also good governance is promoted by the participants from the local people is required. The programs are designed in such a manner that they actively participate and they are motivated in such a manner that they get inclined to take the initiative. Undoubtedly these tasks are quite challenging, which requires the innovative idea to get it successful (Christie & Verran, 2010).

The basic principle which helps in the development of this society is that the organizers should follow the principle of working with them rather than the concept of working on the Indigenous communities.

The organizers should endorse working with (rather than working "on") Indigenous communities can be achieved when service providers endorse the following fundamentals:

  1. Associate community members - From planning to implementation of the services, the community member should be involved. In order to understand even the minute details completely, their involvement is mandatory.
  2. Identify crucial needs - As these societies are very conservative and they have their own set rules. So it becomes necessary to communicate with members to know in detail their crucial and critical needs. It is advisable initially to work upon the small and get success rather than directly jumping over to large objectives. That might reap the result but can have the ripple effect. It already requires convincing the community, gaining the confidence and especially motivating the staff to work.
  3. Employing existing resources - It is always better to utilize the existing resources. As backup resources always provides the add-on results. The social events and structures have been proved to be very beneficial to keep them engage in the program.

Check with the past results - Since so many years many organizations have been working for the development of the indigenous society, but many of the programs got failed. To achieve success with the plan detail research should be carried out to make out the areas of flaws. 

The CLC has also been working for the development of the Aboriginal society since 2005. They started the development approach since 2005. They follow the way in which put forward their action plan in partnership with the people of Indigenous communities. This agenda was followed in order to make the way for the resources of their own society so that they can maintain their identity, their culture. This way they will always feel connected to their country and while staying connected they can strengthen their existing capabilities so that they can make themselves capable for later to participate in the mainstream of Australian employment by improving their health and advancing their education level. 

The three main objectives on which CLC have been working for the community development program are:

  • Giving them the ownership of the project so that they can execute the plan in their own way. This way they hold the ownership of the project. They are given the freedom to manage their resources (Duffy Group Partners, 2009).
  • Services outcomes are generated for the benefit of the indigenous people which are of great value to them according to their cultural,
  • It also worked on the basis of sharing lessons with the government and various non-government agencies. 

The Organizations which worked for the development of the Indigenous people have to ensure that their services need to be culturally competent.

The Indigenous Australians are one who has been following their culture since long and they are not ready to make any amendments or adapt any new changes within their culture which make them noticeably different from the mainstream Australians. Because of these vast cultural differences, there has been a difference in connotation for the policies as well as for their practice. As the Indigenous people do not wish to adapt to the present day cultural context, so the organizations need to make little changes in the working of any project in order to get long-term improved outcomes. For this, the organizations need to culturally competent so that (1) they are capable of forming structure of the services, (2) knowledge of definite practices and system employed, (3) involves detailed selection of the individual, training of each staff members (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabiner, 2016). 

Factors responsible for providing culturally proficient service structure

  • The services which are to be delivered have to be creative and adjustable in nature in accordance with the changing community. These services have to be flexible not only in accordance with the way they are provided but also have to be in accordance with the area they need to be implemented.
  • One of the important factors which play the crucial role is the involvement of the members of the Indigenous community during the time of the planning of business structure.
  • Conducting the programs in such a manner, that people feel homely in the working environment (Burchill & Higgins, 2005).
  • In all this organization should keep the budget as minimum as possible. 

Culturally proficient process and strategies

  • The services or the business has to be in the native language (language common among the people), or if that is not possible there should be a translator or the person who can convey the information in easy and plain simple language. Also, should consider the examples which are used for them to explain, should be specifically from their community to make them more familiar with the working culture.
  • Organization should make sure of involving cultural artifacts like involvement of Indigenous tools, their artworks etc.
  • In the delivering of the services family involvement makes the thing more comfortable and eases to work (Robertson & McDonald, 2011).
  • Involvement of Elders from their community makes the program delivery more familiar. 

Organization should work mainly on getting right staff

In order to deliver social services successfully staff enrolled should be competent enough to meet the demand and work in accordance. This kind of scenario works more effectively for providing specific services for the Indigenous community, where getting success is solely or majorly focused  on being culturally competent. Having the trustworthy relationship with the community is the key to success. The staff has to be proficient in following aspects: -

  • Strong alliance with the participants of Indigenous program: This type of practice is achieved by appointing the people from the local community. As they are deeply related to the cultural issues and they know what all protocols will be easily acceptable by the Indigenous society (The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, 2016).
  • Qualities of the individual person: The person should be efficient enough to work effectively in dealing culturally dependent society. He should have extraordinary skills to tackle cultural translation. Staff members should be proficient enough who have the quality to deal with the people outside the program for external dealing and with the participants.
  • Skill specific jobs: Various projects require participants who have specific qualification or proficiency which is specific for the particular kind of jobs. Like the jobs which deal in counselling, developing leadership qualities, childhood development etc. 

Managing the networks and building the relationships: According to the research it has been found that the programs which work solely without the involvement of local people (Indigenous community) they have suffered a lot to meet the needs and have also led the families at risk. On the other hand, the programs which were organized with the collaboration of the local people and government organizations have been proved to reap better results with the right support (Team, 2016).

The organizations which have collaborated with the Indigenous services are the organizations which worked for family services, the local business like drugs and of alcohol services, the collaboration has also been seen in health services, in various schools and institutions and for various child caring centers, libraries, local shops etc.

It has been observed that there has to be a compatibility with the method used for research and conventional cultural practices followed by the Indigenous people (Team, 2012). 

Research involves the following process

  • Planning: First of all the team members and organizations work together to find the problem in the functioning. Then they try to make out the appropriate solution for the particular problems.
  • Action: After this team in alliance work on the activity decided by the planned committee.
  • Observe: The team keenly observes the detailed functioning of the programs and finally feedback is formed.
  • Reflection: The areas of fault and improvement are studied and noted down for improvement for later results.
  • Planning: Finally the whole process is repeated, and is repeated with improved changes. 


The community development programs are now followed and delivered in more than 62 regions and for more than 1100 communities in Australia. The community development programs are supporting nearly 37,005 Australians out of which nearly 80.2 percent of the people are from the Aboriginal community and Torres Strait.

From the time when the community development programs have started, there has been tremendous rise among the job seekers from Indigenous society and also there has been a rise in the development of their skills and in turn they have contributed in helping their own community. It has been observed that from June to December 2015 there was a high rise in the job seekers in the remote area. It has risen from 47 percent to 68.6 percent.

Community development works to empower the people by finding the inherent skills and polishing them in accordance with the type of job they would be able to do justice. These approaches and strategies have been recognized internationally. 


Australian Government, 2016. Sport for Community Development. Sport for Community Development.

Burchill, M. & Higgins, D., 2005. Indigenous Community Development. Indigenous Community Development, November.

Central Land Council, 2016. Community Development. Community Development, 

Christie, M. & Verran, H., 2010. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts ARCHIVE. International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts ARCHIVE, Volume 2.

Department of Human Services, 2016. Community Development Programme. 


Duffy Group Partners, 2009. Community Development Strategies. Community Development Strategies, 10 March.

Hunt, J., 2013. Engaging with Indigenous Australia— exploring the conditions for effective relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: Australian Government.

Robertson, R. & McDonald, M., 2011. Working with Indigenous children, families, and communities: Lessons from practice. Working with Indigenous children, families, and communities: Lessons from practice, March.

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