Shared Responsibility Agreements

While intuitively the importance of “mutual commitment” may seem clear, this is not the case in practice, as Aden Ridgeway, the only Indigenous member of the federal Parliament, forcefully pointed out during a Senate debate.2 Prominent Aboriginal leaders Pat Dodson and Noel Pearson3 describe mutual engagement as “a natural principle of human society,” generally referred to as “reciprocity” in Aboriginal terms. According to Larissa Behrendt, 4 Professor of Law and Indigenous Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, “the concept of Aboriginal reciprocessivity implies that those who have resources share them with those who do not and that those who receive this generosity have the same duty to care for and share with them.” .