8.0 Disputes and complaints
Conflicts of views between people and complaints about how things are done are common to every society and organisation.
However, if tensions and differences of opinions are left unresolved for too long, they can turn into irreconcilable disputes that poison the air and destroy people’s ability to work and live together.
Most societies have ways to protect peace and order, impose sanctions and punishment, deal with complaints by citizens, and mediate disputes.
Doing this well and fairly is a fundamental part of effective governance.
However, there can be major differences across cultures about what people consider to be ‘fair’ and the ‘right ways’ of settling conflict and restoring harmony.
This is the case for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations and their organisations that have to operate under and negotiate between two very different cultural ways of dealing with disputes and grievances.
This topic gives you a broad introduction to this very challenging area, focusing on disputes about governance. It includes tips about the principles and processes involved, along with tools and guidelines for dealing with some commonly encountered problems.