Standard Presentation (15 mins) Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

Empowering Indigenous research through a national platform.  (#30)

Ricky Archer 1
  1. NAILSMA, Cairns, QLD, Australia

Indigenous communities now own and/or manage 66 million hectares of protected places across Australia, and have obligations and interests across 90% of northern Australia. Whilst good progress has been made supporting Indigenous communities to manage this vast estate, ‐ training Indigenous rangers, IPAs and marine and coastal management plans ‐ western orthodoxy has tended to break these complex systems into silos and treat them as separate entities. 


Indigenous people continue to articulate their wholeness and the special relationship between people, country and culture. A new Indigenous‐led approach or governance platform was first considered by Traditional Owners and proposed to NESP 1 Hubs as a means to strategically engage with the national research agenda whilst empowering Traditional Owners, in research participation and leadership. The concept has expanded to encompass a national agenda in response to the overwhelming interest from southern Indigenous groups, giving rise to a proposed National Indigenous Environmental Research Network (NIERN) supported by over 40 Indigenous groups from northern and southern Australia.


This presentation will review; the current approach to the research agenda, the problem and the way forward for a more efficient and effective pathway. This network would strive to: drive adoption of best practice (UNDRIP/FPIC) ; ensure that  research is compatible with culturally based decision making, and is ethical;  create efficient  governance  reflecting  local  and  regional  input  into  program  co‐design,  co‐implementation  and knowledge repatriation;  amplify the  recognition,  use  and  value  of  Traditional  knowledge,  customs  and  practice  while  increasing  the opportunity for intergenerational knowledge transfer in the Indigenous community;  create succession  and  leadership  pathways  for  the  Indigenous  research  sector,  including  training  early  career researchers.