Establishing a participatory planning framework for the Goonj Arlan Aboriginal corporation conservancy in the Kimberley

Grant Walsh

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    [Truncated abstract] Government policy regarding indigenous people in a natural resource management context is commonly peripheral to broader indigenous issues. Current Australian policy aims to encourage participation but has not increased involvement of Aboriginal people in sustainable natural resource management. Notably the role of family outstations in “caring for country” is understated. This thesis develops frameworks for indigenous people to plan their use of country at a localised level through integration of economic development and capacity building. A planning framework for natural resource management was developed and applied to an outstation community, the Bunyiol Bardi family group of Goonj Arlan in King Sound, Western Australia (Chapter 1). The intention of the Bunyiol Bardi was to implement a management strategy accommodating customary practices including access control, harvesting and monitoring of the countrys condition. The planning framework they used is based on the theoretical framework of the research and has potential for application elsewhere in Australia and overseas since community ownership of destiny underpins successful development. Literature relating to management of natural resources by indigenous people was reviewed (Chapter 2). From this a set of base principles underpinning reportedly successful activity was derived and used to critique Australian Government policy as it relates to opportunities for Aboriginal people (Chapters 3 & 4). Mechanisms to address governance shortfalls and support self-reliance were developed from the critique. Wild harvesting of crocodile eggs by the Djelk Rangers, an Indigenous community in central northern Arnhem Land, was examined as a case study to support interpretation of the base principles. This yielded a conceptual model (Chapter 5) comprising considerations for initiatives involving natural resources.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2010


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