The Jawun Model

Infographic tour of Jawun’s impact (2017).

Indigenous Australians have the right to vote and access to universal healthcare, education and welfare. Yet average life expectancy for Indigenous Australians is well below non-Indigenous Australians, and in some Indigenous communities unemployment is as high as 80 per cent. As Jawun Patron Noel Pearson has stressed, the solution is not simply providing Indigenous people with more freedom or more choices.

To achieve progress, a different approach was required, a partnership model which emphasised working with Indigenous people, rather than simply providing services to them. This was especially critical given that the majority of previous reform efforts had been unsuccessful in achieving sustained improvements for Indigenous communities.

In an effort to move away from a passive welfare economy and to effect real change in our communities, we didn’t want money … We wanted skills and expertise, and we wanted to have the opportunity to develop our skills and enhance our capabilities in order to take ownership of our future. We were in search of people with skills and expertise that could assist us in pursuing our reform agenda … It is from this notion that Jawun was born.

Noel Pearson, Founder and Director of Strategy, Cape York Partnership; Chairman, Good to Great Schools Australia; Jawun Patron.

The four components of the Jawun model

The Jawun model consists of four key components. These components not only make Jawun effective in achieving progress for Indigenous communities, they also make it unique when compared to other development organisations around the world.

  1. An emphasis on Indigenous-led organisations and initiatives
  2. A local or ‘place-based’ focus
  3. Partnerships across different sectors
  4. Programs which utilise the unique skills of our partners