Indigenous Knowledge and Resource Management in Northern Australia

Funding: Australian Research Council Linkage Grant

Duration: Sept 2003 – Dec 2006

Location: Darwin, East Arafura, Northeast Arnhemland

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Project partners: Northern Land Council (NLC) including Northern Australian Indigenous Land Sea Management Alliance NAILSMA, the Northern Territory Department of Infrastructure Planning and Environment (NTDIPE) including NT Museum, and the Yothu Yindi Foundation (YYF) including the Garma Cultural Studies Institute (GSCI).


The research began with an audit of databases which claim to contain Indigenous knowledge of Northern Australia which revealed the existence of many such databases almost none of which were ever made use of either by Indigenous or non-Indigenous users.

This led to working with several indigenous groups to research which sorts of software and hardware solutions these groups valued in mking and managing collective memory. Emerging solutions include products valued by some  Larrakia people, the Garma Cultural Studies Institute, by a group at Kapulwarnamyo, East of the Arafura Swamp, among others. These groups of indigenous people, working in particular contexts, are seeking ways to use digital technology (computers, digital cameras, sound recordings) to keep their own languages, and ecological knowledge systems strong