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Project 5.2 ‘Foundations for Effective Indigenous Inclusion’

30.06.2022 News

The aim of Project 5.2 ‘Foundations for Effective Indigenous Inclusion’ was to undertake a desktop review and provide recommendations to support CRC TIME’s commitment to be a leading practice provider of research that encompassed the aspirations of and provided solutions to issues identified by Indigenous Australians in transformations in mining economies.

The report was prepared by four authors from Curtin University, three of whom are Indigenous. Recommendations are founded on practices, policies, and procedures for Indigenous engagement and participation in research that have a demonstrated track record of delivering enduring mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous Australians. The recommendations align closely with those presented by companion project ‘A snap-shot review and recommendations to support development of the CRC TiME Indigenous Inclusion Strategy’ completed last year by CSIRO (Maclean & Woodward, 2021). The recommendations all resonate strongly with the lived experience of the three Indigenous co-authors.

The overarching key recommendations to ensure Indigenous Inclusion, was for CRC TiME to acknowledge the right of Indigenous Australians to self-determination – decisions with them, by them; not without them or about them!

Also vital to the process of developing and maintaining enduring relationships with Indigenous Australians was:

  • Understanding the holistic meaning of Country and how Traditional Owners are connected to and have an obligation to Country – ‘Country is mother, if we look after Mother she will look after us’
  • Appreciating how the concept and meaning of time differs between Indigenous ways of being and Western perception
  • Acknowledging that Traditional Knowledge which has been amassed over millennia and rooted in place-based cultural and customary practices must be treated with the same reverence afforded knowledge derived from Western science
  • Implementing the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) principles, including the right to withhold (or withdraw) consent in all engagements with Traditional Owners especially when those engagement are driven by research needs that either impact Traditional Owners or their Country
  • Embedding the rights that Indigenous Australians have to their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) and being respectful of the right to protect cultural and customary practices and Traditional Knowledge; and
  • Using participatory co‑designing approaches that last for the entire lifecycle of an activity as a mechanism that will demonstrate action over words to build a foundation of trust, and signify a commitment to a partnership of collaboration

Finally, this report also provided a comprehensive directory of Indigenous individuals, communities, businesses, and organisations within the seven CRC TiME Regional Hubs, as well as key Indigenous focused organisations with national coverage, relevant to the activities of CRC TiME.

Professor Stephen van Leeuwen, Project Leader