Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Science


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Peter Reynolds


Wadjela and Nyungar experts (of managerial, administrative, service staff), from the same South-West city location in Western Australia were randomly chosen from the non-government human service field for separate workshops and asked the question “what makes a non-government human service organisation effective?" The purpose was to compare the group consensus answer between the two separate workshop groups. The Nyungars are the Indigenous people in the South-West of Western Australia and the Wadjelas are the Non-Indigenous people living in the same area. The results listed five criteria, in order of priority that made non-government human service organisations effective. For the Wadjela community these were: I. A clear and shared vision of its task 2. Clear organisational structure which promotes strategic thinking and practice 3. Experienced and dedicated staff 4. Clear and client-based focus and strategies 5, Clarity of and relevant mission or goals. For the Nyungar community the results were: 1. A vision shared of Aboriginal culture and values 2. Appropriate management and finance incorporating Aboriginal culture and values 3. Recognition and identification of need 4. Diverse representation on Committee 5. Community involvement. Analysis and discussion of the findings were attempted from an Australian Indigenous perspective of people, place and parable. The conclusion is that the difference between Wadjela and Nyungar criteria in assessing organisational effectiveness in non-government organisations is that the former utilise a mechanical efficiency model and the latter a commitment to the whole community model. These differences were seen to be a contest between two world-views, that of a continuity of pragmatic relationships versus that of continuity of stewardship relationships.