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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.


These guidelines are a key output from a project of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP), Northern Australia Environmental Resources (NAER) Hub, titled Knowledge Brokering for Indigenous Land Management.

The guidelines first and foremost aim to benefit Indigenous colleagues across Australia by highlighting their empowered, active, knowledge-driven practices in caring for their Country. In addition, the target audience of the guidelines are those who support and enable caring for Country, including staff of Indigenous and partner organisations, policy-makers and the wider community.

Key Findings:

  • Indigenous knowledge is different between groups. It comes from each groups' respective nation, or Country, from their ancestors and ancestral beings present in Country today. Kinship relationships connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples within a network of other people, plants, animals and features in the landscape. Connection is maintained through their respective knowledge and actions to care for their Country.
  • Partnerships that enable the building of respect and appreciation for Indigenous knowledge are desired – particularly where they support an Indigenous voice in decision-making processes that affect Indigenous people. Respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture and Country are critical for the development of trust and relationship-building, which underpin strong partnerships.
  • Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.
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