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Wellbeing of Nywaigi traditional owners: the contribution of country to wellbeing and the role of natural resource management

1 Jan 2005

AB: This report presents the findings of a research project conducted as collaboration and liaison between a regional NRM group (the Burdekin Dry Tropics Board), a research provider (CSIRO) and a Traditional Owner group (the Nywaigi Traditional owners, represented by the Girringun Aboriginal Corporation and the Nywaigi Land Corporation). The research established a concept and framework for defining wellbeing of Traditional Owners, and explored in detail the contribution that culture and country make to the wellbeing of Nywaigi Traditional Owners. It also provided comment on how natural resource planning and management can contribute to the improvement of Traditional Owner wellbeing. The research concludes that regional natural resource management initiatives through the Burdekin Dry Tropics and the Wet Tropics natural resource management (NRM) Boards can foster the process of re-connection of Nywaigi Traditional Owners with country and culture in various ways. In summary, the research provides an important source of information and insights for policy development. The messages are valid beyond the Nywaigi Traditional Owner group who participated in the research. Also, while primarily targeted at informing policy in the area of natural resource management, it is evident that the ramifications reach into the broader public and social policy domains. The research demonstrated that insights generated (in terms of depth of information and interpretation) by adopting a subjective experience research approach can be of great value to policy design. The research thus complements the census based indigenous people profiles and supports targeted and holistic development of policy to improve wellbeing of Traditional Owners.

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