Aboriginal Affairs

Local Government play a critical role in building inclusive communities that foster relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community at the local and regional level. 

This work includes engagement across Local Government functions to recognise and respect Aboriginal cultural histories, practices and places of meaning. WALGA acknowledges all of the Aboriginal Countries across Western Australia and the valuable contribution they make to our history, land, culture and community. 

WALGA supports Local Government to continue building capacity and capability on the journey to reconciliation through facilitation of opportunities for partnership and collaboration across the sector, Aboriginal organisations and other organisations. 

WALGA delivers an annual Aboriginal Engagement Forum, designed to embrace the principles of reconciliation and build the capacity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to achieve better practical, policy, programs, and service delivery in Local Government.


Alongside ongoing capacity building and best practice sharing, WALGA engages in emerging Aboriginal affairs issues impacted the Local Government sector.  

This work includes advocating for the Local Government sector on State legislation such as the Aboriginal Heritage Act, championing the development of resources to support Local Government reconciliation and working with the Australian Local Government Association on Closing the Gap targets. 


WALGA is currently partnering with Reconciliation WA and State Government Agencies to develop a Local Government Reconciliation Resource Hub. The online platform will support Local Governments meet their reconciliation community engagement, statutory, legislative, policy and regulatory obligations. Watch our Newsroom for go live details. 

South West Native Title Settlement

On Thursday 17 June 2021, WALGA hosted an event to provide an update to Local Government on the South West Native Title Settlement, the most comprehensive native title agreement negotiated in Australian history, reaching across 101 Western Australian Local Governments.

WALGA will continue to work in partnership with South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC), the Noongar Boodja Trustee, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH) to provide information and support to Local Governments. To do this effectively we are seeking your feedback on the way you would like to be engaged with in the future regarding the settlement.

Learn more

Closing the Gap

Since the 1967 Referendum successive Commonwealth Governments have developed and funded policies and programs designed to improve the socio-economic status of Aboriginal Australians, and overcome a long history of poverty and marginalisation. Despite these efforts, there has been only modest improvement in some areas, and many Aboriginal Australians continue to experience high levels of disadvantage in living standards, life expectancy, education, health and employment.

Closing the Gap aims to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Since 2008, Australian governments have worked together to deliver better health, education and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to eliminate the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

A formal Partnership Agreement between Commonwealth Government, State and Territory Governments and the National Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations and the Australian Local Government Association came into effect in March 2019. The Coalition of Peaks comprises over fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations, formed for the purpose of negotiating with governments to develop the National Agreement. The Coalition of Peaks represent the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled service sector. Members of the Coalition of Peaks are accountable to their communities.

The Australian Governments shared decision making with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak representatives to develop a new National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the National Agreement). The objective of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the National Agreement) is to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and governments to work together to overcome the inequality experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and achieve life outcomes equal to all Australians.


Join the WA Local Government Reconciliation Network

The WA Local Government Reconciliation Network facilitates peer-to-peer advice and learnings and opportunities for partnership and collaboration. Membership is open to people working in Local Government, employees of State, Commonwealth and not-for-profit department and organisations working in reconciliation and Aboriginal projects.

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