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Community First Development Limited

We are First Nations Community Development and Research Organization

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Community First Development is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led community development and research organization.

The culture of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people dates back more than 60,000 years – making it the oldest in the world. Yet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities today continue to face long-standing challenges stemming from entrenched racism, prejudice, classism, and marginalization.

At Community First Development, we recognize that First Nations peoples' resilience, innovation, and capabilities are often born out of the distinct and profound challenges that face their communities. We respect the unique languages, traditional practices, and values of all First Nations communities, celebrating and valorizing their contributions to Australia and the world. Working together and through community self-determination, we aim to replace disadvantage with opportunity.

Through our framework of understanding, built up over two decades of experience, we provide First Nations community partners with the tools and support needed to achieve their self-directed, long-term goals. Self-determination lies at the heart of our approach. First Nations communities invite us to collaborate on projects that they design, manage, and implement. The projects we support are diverse and focus on delivering new skills, better health, and education, protecting our natural environment, cultural preservation, and safer communities.

One of our communities, the Firesticks Alliance, was committed to sharing cultural fire knowledge that contributes to the land and all its people. Over tens of thousands of centuries, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had developed a sophisticated understanding of how to care for Country. They managed the risks of Australia’s dangerous bushfires through controlled burning that use the right fire for the right ecosystem at the right time – the ‘Good Fire’. The Firesticks Alliance hoped to restore cultural burning practices that were all but lost as Traditional Caretakers of the land were removed. Our team and skilled volunteers worked with the community and supported them in hosting knowledge-sharing workshops. Together, we prepared a Strategic Development Plan towards a national cultural fire and land management program. Aboriginal ranger groups, fire services staff, academics and people in the natural resource management sector are eager to learn from Traditional Custodians about cultural responsibility and reading Country, animals, trees, and seasons to better manage the natural environment.

We invite you to view the video and join us to lift and celebrate our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and First Nations peoples in Australia and around the world. You can help decrease our waitlist for collaboration and meet our services' growing demands to create transformative change for generations to come.


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