The Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly (Murdi Paaki) is the peak governance body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the west, north-west and far west of NSW. It is made up of representatives from 16 communities, as well as Murdi Paaki Aboriginal Young and Emerging Leaders, and NSW Aboriginal Land Council Councillors from across the region.
While considered to be an under-estimation, the Aboriginal population of the Murdi Paaki region at the 2011 Census was 18 per cent of the total population. As a result, effective Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in this region is crucial for service delivery, and Murdi Paaki is the peak body which engages with government and agencies at all levels. Murdi Paaki’s major role is facilitating a more strategic emphasis on engagement, responsiveness, co-ordination and accountability from government and non-government agencies.
The story of Murdi Paaki is a story of sovereign rights, which lie at the heart of the initiative. The Murdi Paaki charter of governance expresses ‘resolve to manage our own affairs, build sustainable communities and determine our own future’. Murdi Paaki promotes the practices of good governance, responsible leadership and empowerment, which together are driving change in regional NSW.
William Johnson (left) of Murdi Paaki Reginal Assembly and Sam Jeffries (right), Former Chairman of Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly.