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Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


The Aboriginal Indigenous Engagement Model (IEM) provides a foundation for Indigenous engagement in environmental protection and biosecurity.

Indigenous communities in Australia face biosecurity threats from both naturally occurring incursions and the human-mediated spread of pests, diseases and weeds. These incursions can have disastrous effects on commercial, traditional subsistence and niche-market cropping systems, with the latter two often occurring in relatively remote Indigenous communities.

Key Findings:

  • The principles in this engagement model are Yolngu principles, and they outline expectations and guide interactions. The key overarching principles establish important guidelines that dictate how the step-by-step community engagement process is both interpreted and implemented.
  • The implementation of the Aboriginal IEM is also designed to establish and develop important relationships between key stakeholders which include Indigenous communities. The management and mitigation of biosecurity threats and outbreaks remain the key benefit of the Aboriginal Indigenous Engagement Model.
  • Australia has a unique and incredibly diverse natural environment. The Aboriginal IEM aims to engage multiple stakeholders and to develop linkages and connections that ensure the sustainability of the natural environment.
  • Unfortunately, there are many biosecurity incursions and threats in the Australian context. The Aboriginal IEM has been developed to increase community engagement to protect the natural environment and industry against tomato potato psyllid (TPP), myrtle rust, cucumber mottle mosaic virus, banana freckle and Panama disease tropical race.
  • The Aboriginal IEM is flexible and adaptable. It provides a foundation to build community engagement and stakeholder relationships. The Aboriginal IEM can easily be applied to a wide range of biosecurity threats and incursions, and can be implemented in a wide range of contexts.


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