Cultural Preamble of the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service as per the Constitution

Mindful of the heritage and structure of Aboriginal society and the role of elders
and the Law in Aboriginal culture, the Constitution of the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service is drafted as an attempt to synchronise corporate structures with cultural models of governance and compliance with prescribed requirements for the composition of the organisation’s governing committee is undertaken fully conscious that this obligation reflects a system of government intrinsically different from Aboriginal culture.

The Board of Directors of the Corporation shall:

Conduct all its affairs and deliberations cognisant of this cultural heritage and its implicit imperatives.

Ensure its actions are underpinned by:

  • the laws of Natural Justice;
  • the Aboriginal ethical values of trust, integrity and consensus; and
  • the spirit of “Aboriginal community control’ as defined in the Constitution.

Aboriginal Well-being (1993), and the NACCHO Position Papers which enunciate the integral nature of Aboriginal religious traditions, values and heritage in the sustaining or regaining of health and well-being in Communities, this shall include but not be restricted to:

  1. Enabling Aboriginal people and communities to facilitate, where culturally appropriate, the promotion of Aboriginal religion’s inseparable components of tradition, culture, heritage, law, lore and spiritual and ethical values to enable the regaining or sustaining of community health and well-being;
  2. Strengthening and fostering the development of Aboriginal identity through positive initiatives and programs which emphasise the cultural and spiritual values which underpin Aboriginal society and are essential for its health and well-being;
  3. Enabling and supporting research and education in and the promotion of Aboriginal religion and traditional values;
  4. Enabling acquisition of sacred land and the acquisition and maintenance of sacred sites;
  5. Facilitating and supporting the teaching and researching of Aboriginal languages to members of the Aboriginal community; researching and promoting the use of Aboriginal traditional methods of healing within the Aboriginal community and to ensure that its knowledge, procedures and plant information are not misused by the non-Aboriginal community, and when appropriately used, that royalties are provided to the Aboriginal communities concerned;
  6. Liaising and assisting Aboriginal people and other Aboriginal organisations in their struggle for Aboriginal Land Rights and to promote the need to recognise the indispensable requirement of land in Aboriginal culture and its pivotal role in the well-being of Aboriginal communities; and
  7. Promoting wherever possible and culturally appropriate, traditional Aboriginal heritage, culture, customs, law, lore, history, language and the spiritual, moral and ethical teaching of its religious traditions and to provide research and develop educational programs to sustain within or regain such knowledge and practice for Aboriginal communities.