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Published: 6 October 2014

Indigenous experts share common ground

CSIRO Indigenous Research Fellow, Josie Douglas, has been talking to Aboriginal youth about their feelings for country and perspectives on their elders. Her findings were the focus of a special symposium held on Arrernte country, as part of last week’s Ecological Society of Australia (ESA) conference in central Australia.

Josie Douglas (right) with Alyawarr women.
Josie Douglas (right) with Alyawarr women.
Credit: CSIRO

Ms Douglas has been exploring how young Aboriginal people adapt and shape ecological knowledge in modern everyday life amongst kin and in relation to their country.

The symposium brought together Aboriginal speakers and their colleagues from across Australia – from Bardi and Jawi country in the Kimberley to Gunditj Mirring country in Victoria.

The presentations covered cultural learning and new directions, mapping occupancy sites, partnerships between Aboriginal and state agencies, traditional foods in a changing climate, burning practices and the care of freshwater places.

‘The symposium aimed to provide an important space for Indigenous perspectives to come forward to share expertise, experience and ideas addressing the key strengths and values of Indigenous peoples,’ said Ms Douglas.

Aboriginal speakers at the forum included Oliver Costello from the New South Wales Firesticks program; Ben Church and Jane Walker from the Gunditj Mirring Partnership Project in Victoria; and Nyul Nyul Rangers, Preston Cox and Zynal Cox, from the Kimberley in Western Australia.

Source: ESA, CSIRO

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