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.

Historian Michael Bennett with Eliz. Peters
Historian Michael Bennett with Elizabeth Peters

One of the objectives identified in the Action Plan for Children and Young People is to build awareness in the Walgett community and with those we work with

of the proud legacy, resilience and achievements of local Aboriginal governance and organisations. To this end DEG is working with Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service to produce a series of training resources including histories of our organisations and their work. These resources will be used to induct our staff and educate government agencies and NGOs. We hope it will lead to a greater understanding of the Walgett ACCO philosophies and respect for why ACCO service delivery approaches are effective and must be supported.