Being a social outcome champion I have much interest in Australia’s need for an overarching outcomes framework. For those that may not have heard my quest the overarching outcomes framework covers the transition and lifecycle stages of life (cradle to grave). The Organisations for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) requires each country to present an overarching outcomes framework and such a framework has a direct link with the Human Rights Framework.
Human Rights are broader than any single culture but in Australia there are some heightened challenges especially for the Indigenous culture of Australia. These challenges are compounded by the way that the Indigenous population have been treated, both historically and currently. Prior to Australia’s white settlement there were over 500 different clan groups or Indigenous nations around the continent. The original white settlers did not always understand or show respect that there were such differences across distinctive cultures, beliefs and languages. The tensions of the actions that were taken in 1788 to current day are therefore difficult to repair.
It is difficult for words to deal with years of such damage but it may be possible for frameworks to assist with some of the future healing. An Indigenous educational group that is led by Nola Turner-Jenson has created an Ancient Culture Rocks Framework (ACRF)
The ACRF consists of eight principles that resonate with the modern Australian society of today:
- Spiritual (Ritual)
- Group (Cooperation)
- Process (Practicality)
- Sustainability (Biodiversity)
- Place (Balance)
- Customary Law (Localised)
- Natural (Organic)
- Subsistence (survival)
The eight principles summarize the way Ancient Indigenous people achieved their ideal life in Ancient times. In addition Turner-Jenson has designed the eight principles as a comparison with modern values.
Turner-Jenson proposes that a comparison with modern values may assist with answering the question why there is disconnection for Indigenous people.
This disconnection exists between Indigenous groups and non-Indigenous groups who are now the prevalent culture. The focus of the 8 ACRF principles for Turner-Jenson is especially for those Indigenous people who were stolen from their cultural group.
I propose there is a possible broader use for these eight principles. At a global level the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) have been agreed. The SDG are defined as transforming the world setting the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The SDG are an intergovernmental set of aspirational goals contained in 17 goals and 169 targets.
Australia is already behind the score, as it does not have the base framework of an overarching outcome framework. There are numerous Australian measurement indicators and independent frameworks but they are set within silos. To continue to be innovative and productive on the world stage Australia would benefit by contributing to the SDG and alignment with an overarching outcomes framework. The ACRF could be considered to assist with filling the void of the overarching outcomes framework. In return this could enhance the relationships between the Indigenous Australians and the Non Indigenous Australians.
At a global level the demonstration of how such a rift can be progressed, especially via having respect of the past and a focus on the future would be received well.
Most notably such action would benefit all SDG goals but particularly Goal 10.
“Goal 10 is aiming to reduce inequality within and among countries”
Bringing the ACRF and SDG together could create an Australian blueprint that was transformational at both a national and global level. In my quest for the overarching outcomes framework I continue to argue the difference the framework would make to investments for social outcomes. As Turner-Jenson most eloquently reminds us all:
“The language of our ancients must be whispered into the ears of our new born babies for our culture to survive”
I say let the whispering begin!
The 8 Indigenous Core Values and how they could restore Ancient Australia strength and dignity – Nola Turner-Jenson crackerjackeducation
Sustainable development Goals – Transforming Our World – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development