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Nolan Principles

The Eight Principles of Public Life Designed for KSGAC

Lord Nolan began the First Report of his Committee on Standards in Public Life by setting out what he called “The Seven Principles of Public Life”, often described as “the Nolan Principles”.

The Seven Principles of Public Life are:

  • Selflessness – Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
  • Integrity – Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  • Objectivity – In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
  • Accountability – Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
  • Openness – Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
  • Honesty – Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
  • Leadership – Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

The Eight Principles of Public Life Designed for KSGAC

The adapted Nolan principles on public life (see below) were seen as setting out behavioural expectations for members of the national representative body.

Nolan Committee principles on public life

These principles relate to all aspects of public life, they were created by the Nolan Committee to benefit the public in any way. These principles will apply to all members, Board of Directors and staff who are employed by the Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation.

Selflessness

Holders of public office (Board or Staff) must make all decisions solely in terms of the member’s interests, consistent with the Credo and the Constitution of KSGAC. They must not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefit for themselves, their family, or their friends.

Integrity

Holders of public office (Board or Staff) must not try to place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

Objectivity

In carrying out KSGAC business, including making appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits, holders of public office must make choices on merit.

Accountability

Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

Openness

Holders of public office (Board or Staff) should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. The holders of public office (Board or Staff) should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

Honesty

Holders of public office (Board or Staff) have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the KSGAC interest.

Leadership

Holders of public office (Board or Staff) should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Behaviour

Holders of public office (Board or Staff) must exhibit at all times the exemplary levels of personal and corporate behaviour.

The following key guiding principles is also identified for potential board members:-

  • Accountability: to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are members of the association and its elected board members, and also all staff of the KSGAC. This involves transparency in operations and through effective communication / dissemination of information with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Authority: This will come from representativeness of body, and also from development of a strong evidence base;
  • Legitimacy: This will come from reflecting the diversity within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities – including issues relating to disability, mainstream Torres Strait Islanders, geographic and cultural differences. It will also emerge from the body being representative and through advocating for the most vulnerable.
  • Partnership: with both government, industry as well as with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, peak bodies and communities;
  • Respect: for culture and for the cultural diversity within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

    The importance of recognising and protecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ human rights was also emphasised. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was identified as providing the framework for engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Groups commonly raised the need for gender equality in representation.

    Social inclusion was also highlighted as a key principle with the representative body playing a vital role in the education of the broader Australian community and working for the benefit of all Australians towards Reconciliation.