The collaborative alliance is at a higher research program level and papers developed collaboratively across the institutions within that collaborative context. Relative to the CRN themes, the projects have been split into the following;


Program 1: Liveability and Place in Northern Australia
Program 2: Demography and Change in Northern Australia


Program 3: Rethinking Regional Approaches to Development and Infrastructure
Program 4: Revitalising Social Infrastructure Programs in Northern Australia

Integrative theme

Program 5: New Approaches to Governance in Northern Australia

Allocation of CRN NRF resources are linked to targeted project and research capacity development activities. The projects identified to date include the following. These projects developed over time and the final application may use a different name or link to other CRN NRF program theme areas.


Project Title

Project Summary

Institutional/ Organisational Partners


Integration Climate Adaptation within Regional NRM Planning

Within the context of the Climate Adaptation Grants recently awarded to CDU and JCU, this project led by Prof Allan Dale will focus on ensuring an effective linkage between climate adaptation research and the next generation of regional NRM planning across the north.



Tenure Reform across Northern Australia

Leadership and participation within a broad review of land tenure systems across northern Australia, reporting into the North Australian Ministerial Forum. This project is likely to lead to additional research proposals.  Project led by Prof Allan Dale.

JCU (TCI), CSIRO (Sustainable Ecosystems).   


Training for Empowerment

Delivery of Indigenous Advancement Strategy funded training (3 years, 2015 – 18)

JCU, Wontulp College and Prime Minister and Cabinet


Enhancing training advantage for remote Indigenous learners

This research project seeks to provide answers to the longstanding questions about how post school training enhances the employability of remote adult learners. Funding: NCVER

Flinders University, CDU, JCU, University of Notre Dame, University of New England, Batchelor Institute


Building Indigenous livelihood and co-management opportunities in the Northern GBR-ecosystem services and conservation governance for water quality

This project supports Indigenous co-management and livelihoods by scoping and developing culturally-appropriate ecosystem services (ES) products focused on water quality. Local and regional Indigenous development agencies in CYP will collaborate with researchers with expertise in Indigenous water, co-benefits, ES, wetland ecology, and governance issues. The project will: i) evaluate international examples of nutrient offsets and watershed ES; ii) scope investor demand and develop innovative water quality ES products suitable for Northern GBR geographic, demographic, and market conditions; and iii) improve wetland protection, co-management, business, and governance capability. Key project objectives are to leverage existing ES-based livelihood opportunities and to realize social co-benefits.

CSIRO, Cairns Institute, Kalan Enterprises and Cape York Partnerships


DRNM15047-Vegetation Management Policy Liaison

Support the Department to liaise with identified stakeholders and other entities in relation to vegetation management policy. Provide a written report on the outcomes of the liaison process. And provide a written report on the outcomes of the liaison process.



Indigenous capacity building and increased participation in management of Queensland sea country

This project will be carried out jointly by CSIRO, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA), James Cook University, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Duane Fraser.

CSIRO, North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA), James Cook University, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Duane Fraser.


Monitoring and adaptively reducing system-wide governance risks facing the GBR

Australian governments have addressed water quality issues in the Great Brief Reef over the last decade. While much has improved, more is needed. Reef environmental outcomes, however, depend on the interplay among diverse/fragmented governance 'activities' (eg water allocation, ports-planning, regional NRM). Despite being recognised in the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plant (LTSP), there is no coordinated system for benchmarking/monitoring the health of the overall Reef governance system/constituent activities. NERP supported a new method for doing so This project engages new LTSP implementation/review structures and stakeholders to build commitment to institutionalizing this method. Outputs will inform five-yearly Outlook reporting.

Cairns Institute and Queensland University of Technology


Governance Reform for Northern Australia

This project led by Prof Allan Dale examines the opportunities for reform of governance systems in northern Australia, delivering both monograph and book outcomes.

James Cook University’s Cairns Institute and CDU’s Northern Institute.


RAPA Indigenous Heritage Program

Prof Allan Dale (PI) and Jim Turnour are supporting the Rainforest Aboriginal Peoples' Alliance implement a project designed to promote Aboriginal rainforest peoples' cultural values. He is supporting the economic development components of the project working in partnership with RAPA to explore the economic opportunities that are available to Aboriginal people within the context of these cultural values.

JCU & Rainforest Aboriginal Peoples' Alliance


Social and economic assessment in northern Australian contexts.

Scoping jointly between the Cairns and the Northern Institute the potential northern Australian capabilities for the development of a cohesive Research Node/ Centre of Excellence for a Social Assessment in Resource Development Domains.
Developing a book and media strategy that draws on the projects to discuss the issues related to social and economic impact assessment learnt through the research projects.



ARC LP130100735 Improved Indigenous population projections for effective policy and planning

This project will use a range of methods to better understand the population dynamics of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) population. This information will allow policy makers to better plan and target resources and help Indigenous organisations understand what is happening to the population in their community.

Australian National University, Dept of Social Services, Charles Darwin University, & University of Queensland


Developing a Gender-Sensitive Evaluation Guidance for UN Women: Tools for the evaluation of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

This project is applied research to develop an evaluative field-guide resource for the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of UN Women. The resource will be disseminated across the entire UN system to strengthen the UN and partnering agencies' evaluation practices. It will complement existing resources, have global reach, and strengthen UN Women's capacity to measure the effectiveness of GEEW throughout all UN activities.  Dr Stephens will be hosted by the Director of the Gender and Public Policy Specialization at the School of International and Public Affairs, Department of Political Science at Columbia University.

JCU, the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of UN Women & the School of International and Public Affairs, Department of Political Science at Columbia University.


Infant abusive head trauma in northern Australia

This project seeks to implement and evaluate the United States programme:  The Period of PURPLE Crying, a brief education programme for parents of new-borns delivered by health care professionals.  The intervention is being trialled in far north Queensland. 

Collaboration between Dr Stephens and The Cairns Institute and Queensland Health and others.


Enhancing training advantage for remote Indigenous learners

This research project seeks to provide answers to the longstanding questions about how post school training enhances the employability of remote adult learners. In particular, the project will examine programs in remote parts of Australia where rates of retention and completion are relatively high compared to the average for remote Australia.

The Cairns Institute, Ninti One Ltd, The University of New England, University of Notre Dame, Charles Darwin University & Batchelor College


National narratives about asylum seekers in Australia

This area of research seeks to reframe National narratives about asylum seekers who come to Australia across the seas from Indonesia. Ultimately it seeks to contribute rigorous, empirical social research findings to regional solutions on refugees including Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia.



Demographic trends in northern Australia and workforce development

This symposium, project and book will investigate the relationship between economic development and urbanisation across northern Australia.



The Role of Social Practice in managing heat stress exposure in Top End Labour intensive workforces

The project was designed to redress the gap in understanding the significance of social practices in managing heat stress in labour-intensive industries in Australia’s ‘Top End’. It pilots an approach that builds on state-of-the-art heat stress studies that monitor individual core-temperatures in real-time and link these to physical workload and apparent temperature. It integrates this analysis with  ethnographic observations to identify how particular work practices were producing and mitigating bodily heat. The tight integration of medical and social analysis generates a strong evidence-base for organisational interventions to improve heat stress management.

CDU & National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre


Heat Stress in Northern Australia: creating an epidemiological evidence base and partnership for further research

The aim of this research project is to: establish a CDU - Menzies project that provides an evidence base and partnership for a major research project into humid heat across the monsoonal north of Australia.
1) Establish an epidemiological approach to accounting for the occurrence of heat stress in the monsoonal north of Australia, with a pilot study on Top End data.
2) Begin the development of a strong NHMRC Partnership Grant application by bringing together research, industry and government partners for a pan-northern ‘heat stress in monsoonal Australia’ research project.

Dr. Elspeth Oppermann (CDU), Prof. Alan Cass (Menzies), Prof. Ross Andrews (Menzies), Dr Matt Brearley (National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre).


Why apprentices fail to complete: Exploring Northern Australia's Extreme Heat as a possible Factor.

Aim: To establish whether heat stress may be a causal factor in the non-completion of apprenticeships in northern Australia.
Objectives: 1) To determine whether the hot climatic conditions peculiar to northern Australia are statistically related to the non-completion of apprenticeships. 2) Stratify data geographically for use in jurisdictional, economic and climate regions to inform institutional and public policy as well as further research. 3) To establish a track record and evidence of the need for further research and policy intervention, in collaboration with GTNT and the wider Monsoonal North Heat Stress Research Partnership.



Heat stress, alcohol use and economic participation among labour-intensive workers in tropical conditions: implications for the development of health policy

This project aims to identify the population-level impact of heat stress on the Top End and explore the relationship between heat stress, alcohol use and economic participation in the labour intensive workforce.
1. To collect and analyse population-level data to identify broad vulnerabilities to heat stress
2. To identify the social mediation of heat stress in the workplace in order to inform health policy interventions.

CDU & National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre


Perceptions about heat stress and its economic consequences for people living in tropical humid Australia

Investigating whether increasing heat stress leads to lower productivity and, if so, for whom and in which employment sectors.



Doctoral Research Project: Aboriginal Commercial Fishing in the Northern Territory

This research does not aim to find blame nor to propose any solutions, but to lay bare the complexities of Aboriginal commercial fishing in NT, to examine the legal structure and management framework and identify actors involved, with the goal of determining if the rhetoric of those in power, translates to Aboriginal people's ability to choose to meaningfully engage in the commercial fishing industry on their own terms.



Cultural Mapping of the Yirralka IPA (Indigenous Protected Area)

Traditional Owners (TOs) of Northern Blue Mud Bay (East Arnhemland) and the Yirralka Rangers identified a need to develop a visitor management strategy to manage recreational and commercial fishing access to the Bay.  A crucial first step in this process was to consult with TOs to identify those areas within which they sought to restrict particular activities due to the cultural values on those places.  The ‘Cultural Mapping of the Yirralka IPA’ project was developed to address this gap.  A report on the consultations and associated GIS data will be supplied to the Yirralka Rangers in early 2016. 

CDU, Traditional Owners (TOs) of Northern Blue Mud Bay (East Arnhemland) and the Yirralka Rangers


Dedication of the Djelk Sea Country IPA

Support to Djelk Rangers to formally dedicate, and receive Federal government recognition of,  an extension of their IPA to include Sea Country

CDU and the Djelk Rangers


Dedication of Stage II of the Yirralka IPA

Yirralka have also asked for assistance with engaging commercial and government stakeholders in order to have Stage 2 of their Indigenous Protected Area recognised.  Whilst Traditional Owners have exclusive ownership of the terrestrial areas of the IPA, various parties have interests in the marine components.  A range of Territory and Federal stakeholders will be drawn together to develop a collaborative management structure for the marine sections of the IPA.

CDU and the Yirralka Rangers


Crocodile Islands Healthy Country Plan and IPA Dedication

To coordinate the preparation of a plan of management for land and sea country at Crocodile Islands, and to have the Indigenous Protected Area formally recognised by all levels of government.

CDU & Crocodile Island Rangers (CIR)


Mapping the Cultural and Environmental Values of the Northern Territory's Marine Environment to Inform MPA Planning.

This scoping project will see collaborative research undertaken with two Sea Ranger groups to document cultural and environmental values. Through the use of innovative participatory mapping methodologies, data will be generated to produce a published journal article, a conference paper, form the basis of two funded projects, and deliver high impact on-ground outcomes for the participating Indigenous Ranger and TO groups.

CDU & Indigenous Sea Ranger Groups


Multiple Stakeholder Decision Making Framework for the South West Gulf of Carpentaria

AIMS wish to undertake research to collect the ecological data necessary for informed decisions about large projects which impact on the marine environment in the  South West Gulf of Carpentaria.  Central to this project is identifying the data various stakeholders and decision makers need to assess the ecosystem services trade-offs of various proposals.  Indigenous communities, sea country owners, and sea country managers (rangers) are key stakeholders.  AIMS would seek CDU (NI) to undertake:
- research into the data needs of Indigenous stakeholders for enhanced sea country management
- facilitate working relationships between scientists and Indigenous stakeholders to ensure appropriate best-practice engagement of Indigenous stakeholders in any ecological research undertaken
- assist in the development of a multi-stakeholder decision making framework for the SW GoC which appropriately includes Indigenous stakeholders and represents their interests.



Doctoral Research Project: Transnational Home: Perception of Home of Sri Lankan Immigrants in Australia

The research attempts to understand the ways in which Sri Lankan immigrants in Australia define the notion of home and their sense of belonging?

Every year in Sri Lanka, thousands of people apply for permanent residence or skilled migration visas to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and USA.  Another large number of people apply under the other visa categories, aiming for permanent residence or a long stay visa. Thousands more people flee their country through illegal routes. None of these people are particularly afflicted by poverty so such incidents raise questions such as: how do people negotiate the sense of belonging and reasons for emigration; when do people move, supposedly permanently, to other countries; how is the notion of belonging and the idea of home is reinterpreted in a different context; what is the process these people are going through in creating new sense of belonging in their adopted land what are the factors that cause such changes? 

Following theoretical interests of Rapport and Dawson (1998), Glick Schiller and Fouroun (2001), Douglas (1991 and Al-Ali and Koser (2002), Using ethnographic method, I would like to explore the ways in which Sri Lankan immigrants in Australia define their meaning of home and notion of belonging. This research problem is important in many different ways. First, it provides in-depth knowledge about the immigrants’ perception towards the host and home society. Hence, it will be a comprehensive ethnographic work of Sri Lankan immigrants in Darwin, Australia. The study will reveal the issues pertaining to the process of integration. Such insights may contribute to revisits the policies, distribution of resources, as well as services provide for migrants.



Doctoral Research Project: Achieving Sustainable Population Growth in Northern Regional Australia: An Evidence Based Approach to Migration Policy.

The research objectives are to provide and describe policy and infrastructure developments possible in Northern Australia necessary to attract migrants with the intent on remaining long term.

CDU and partner


Accounting for Agriculture in place-based frameworks for regional development

The research team lead by Jim Turnour has completed focus group workshops in Canberra, Brisbane and Innisfail with transcript analysis completed. The team is now undertaking an online survey and a series of case studies in the pilot region the Wet Tropics of North Queensland.  Case studies include: (i) sugar / dairy industry; (ii) agri-tourism; (iii) natural resource management; and (iv) supply chain



Doctoral Research Project: Indigenous Cultural Activity Counts. Quantifying the relationship between cultural activity and labour supply in remote areas.

The thesis seeks to establish methodology to value cultural activity or practice to Aboriginal people, using choice modeling of the preferences of Aboriginal people living in a remote area of northern Australia for paid employment relative to unpaid or paid cultural practice.



The economic burden of heat related performance reduction

Based on physical models of human tolerance of heat, global labour productivity is predicted to decline by 20% as a result of climate change by 2050 (Dunne et al. 2013). Yet, research undertaken on people’s perceived performance reduction due to heat stress is lacking. The proposed research is to undertake an online survey with a representative sample of working Australians to determine their productivity loss and how it is affected. As such it will be a follow- up from a previous LEBA small grant ‘Perceptions about heat stress and its economic consequences for people living in tropical humid Australia’.

Kerstin Zander (CDU), Elspeth Oppermann (CDU), Tord Kjellstrom (ANU), & Wouter Botzen (VU University Amsterdam)


Linda Ford ARC Discovery Indigenous 2015

The project led by Dr Linda Ford aims to develop and implement suitable Indigenous frameworks for the preservation, interpretation and dissemination of the recordings of ceremonial performances in the Wagait-Daly region of the Northern Territory of Australia. The focus is a body of recordings, made by early anthropologists and missionaries, of final mortuary ceremony performances. The ceremonial performance is a key process for integrating Indigenous knowledge from many different domains, a socially powerful site of exchange, transmission and transformation of relationship to country, kin and identity. The aim is to extend the power of ceremony in order to benefit Indigenous people's identity and Australia's shared history in the future.



Planning for a C change: Using realist synthesis to determine methods for controlling the effects of volatile contexts in the evaluation of criminal justice programs

The criminal justice system is an open system that is sensitive to external influences including rapidly emerging public and political concerns leading to policy and operational change. How can program evaluators effectively plan for and respond to these changes when evaluating program interventions within the criminal justice system?

CDU/ANU/RMIT  (Tremblay, Manning, Westhorp)


Development of an evolutionary ‘capabilities economics’ approach to North Australian development

•Assessment of the future economic knowledge needs to grow the North;

•The absorptive capacity of remote residents: Institutional barriers to the local development of economic capabilities and participation

•Consumption capabilities and ‘market literacy’ of Northern remote residents: The potential for self-organization

•Decreasing the role of the State in the remote North: An economic co-benefit approach to amending the scope of government, bureaucracy and para-governmental organisations



Understanding Contract/Seasonal Employment Potential in Regions with High Youth Unemployment:
3 sub-projects
[a] Testing a Dedicated Investigative Tool
[b] The case of seasonal harvest and unskilled agri-food work: Engaging young job seekers with seasonal work
[c] The case of casual unskilled hospitality work

Qualitative research in collaboration with the Department of Employment to:
[1] Use confidential AG data to screen youth capable of undertaking specific job profiles in 3 locations: Darwin, Cairns and Burnie (Tas)
[2] Interview or run focus groups with industry and jobactive providers regarding their perceptions
[3] Interview or run focus groups with unemployed youth to assess their views of seasonal and casual work in those sectors, and the sources of their opinions about them
[4] Provide high level descriptive findings



Consumption capabilities in Northern Australia: The need for marketplace and financial literacy

The ability of Northern Australians as a highly diverse population to participate and benefit from the prospects of ongoing economic growth is very uneven. While it is often observed that immediate economic opportunities vary across the Northern landscapes, it is also the case that the capabilities needed to both contribute and benefit from the expanding reach of the mainstream economy also largely differ across places, demographic, social and cultural attributes; and livelihood choices made by individuals, groups or communities. While the agenda based on human capabilities is well recognized (associated with Sen’s emphasis on early life access to security, health and education as rights), inadequate attention has been given to the capabilities to operate in the marketplace as consumers, work-skills suppliers, and entrepreneurs for those who have had limited exposure to the mainstream economy.

UoQ, RMIT, Financial Resilience Australia Pty Ltd


Ocean Connections and New Cultures of Care   

The project aims to build a new dialogue between saltwater community understandings of place and place-based approaches to coastal planning.  It uses a creative research strategy to build a regionally innovative model of fragile environment management that incorporates cultural diversity into the definition and promotion of biodiversity.

CDU, Northern Territory Government, Fisheries Division, and East Arnhem Shire


Doctoral Research Project: Risk Society – Reflexive governance in developing Northern Australia

The notion of governance implies the structures and processes for collective decision-making that involves a multitude of actors, both state and non-state, during which everyone involved has a chance of transforming the opinions of the other parties. When the definitions and interpretations of governance are transferred to the context of ‘risk’ and risk-related decision-making, it is often called ‘risk governance’.

However, the ‘ideal definition’ of (risk) governance as just described is often not adequately accommodated in regulatory practice due to the different interests and perceptions of the actors involved. Within this context, this research project will explore risk governance in relation to public engagement. A case study of industrial development in Gladstone harbour has been chosen in order to assess the risk governance process for the proposals and decisions that have been put forward and the existing, potential and perceived risks this brings to the local environment and the local community. The extent to which public engagement has been used in this process will be critically examined in order to give recommendations on how risk governance can possibly be improved through public engagement. This could lead to a more sustainable form of development that includes socio-environmental factors because the voices of all stakeholders are taken into account, as opposed to it being a top-down approach of decision-making removed from local realities.

Methodologically, this will be done by using the research paradigm of Critical Theory with its associated ontological level of historical realism and its epistemological position of subjectivism. On a more operational level, critical ethnography will be used for this case study with interviews, focus groups, informal conversations and observations as the methods.



Informing climate adaptation policy-making in relation to extreme event adaptation

The warming atmosphere is likely to affect a range of climate sensitive industries demanding early adaptation interventions. Proper guidance is required for policy-makers as adaptation decision-making is a multi-disciplinary problem challenged by a complex web of uncertainties. There is currently a dearth of tools that render effective adaptation actions. This proposal will examine adaptation decision mechanisms for the mining, health, power, water and local government sectors in central Australia with the active engagement of potential end users of the research. Research outcomes will include a publication, conference presentation, identification of research gaps and establishment of collaborative environments for future grants.



Mitigating heat stress through native vegetation in central Australia

This project will explore how native plants might be used as an adaptation strategy to extreme heat in Central Australia. A combination of satellite images and on site temperature meausrements will be used to understand the cooling effects of various native plants.

Ninti One, Monash University


Identifying the impact of extreme heat on high rates of pre-term birth, low birth-weight and peri-natal mortality amongst Indigenous Central Australians

The project is a collaboration between CDU and Menzies school of health to conduct a pilot study in Alice Springs to assess if the ambient temperature (or its variants: BoM heat stress indices) has an impact on pre-term delivery, still birth, peri-natal mortality and low birth weights.



Monitoring and evaluation for climate change related adaptive risk management by Australian Coastal Councils

 This NCCARF funded project is a partnership with Macquarie University and  will present a review of various M&E approaches and indicators used for climate change adaptation evaluation in varying contexts. Guidelines will be developed on how to undertake M&E along with worked out examples from available literature. Also, specific real case study examples will demonstrate how various approaches and indicators for evaluation are utilised. The case study examples will cover i) adaptation projects (council scale); ii) adaptation programmes (multi-scale); iii) adaptation projects with multiple objectives (e.g. mitigation objectives, other developmental objectives) and iv) adaptation projects with different methods of risk assessment (e.g. cost benefit analysis, quadruple bottom line/triple bottom line assessment) and iv) M&E requirements before and during implementation.

CDU & Macquarie University


Exploring the applications’ of methods used for climate adaptation option valuation, with particular reference to Australian coastal councils

This NCCARF funded project is a partnership with Macquarie University and will review various valuation methods and develop a block diagram of the methods with sign posts indicating when to apply each of the methods will be developed to guide stakeholders. Some other challenges faced by stakeholders include: assessing distributional impacts, determining timing of investments, understanding assumptions behind economic models and assessing the effects of multiple actions. Through a number of worked out examples, we will demonstrate the i) evaluation of a suite of adaptation actions (e.g. portfolio analysis), ii) evaluation of the social costs of adaptation and distributional effects of costs and benefits (e.g. weights) iii) effect of model assumptions (e.g. discount rates) iv) the timing of investments (real option analysis) and v) evaluation of non-market values of options.

CDU & Macquarie University


Doctoral Research Project: A contextually-based biocentric framework for the planning of public space in the Darwin Harbour region

In the context of northern Australia’s quadruple bottom line (cultural, environmental, social and economic) development, what are the unique and overlapping methodologies that key stakeholders use when planning for public space in the NT?
Can these methodologies aid in the identification and development of a contextually-based, biocentric, multi-disciplinary framework that can be used for planning and design in the Darwin harbour region?



Social drivers of ecosystem change: Knowledge consolidation pilot project

This project represents a pilot project to strengthen a future Category 1 grant application, seeks to synthesise literature on anthropogenic determinants of ecosystem condition within a complex systems framework that accounts for differences in analytic approaches, scale and context.

CDU, ANU, University of Oregon & United Nations Environment Programme


Improving Sub-national Population Forecasts

The aim of this project is to make significant advances in two related areas of regional, council area and local population forecasting: improving accuracy, and providing an indication of forecast uncertainty. Population forecasts often turn out to be far more inaccurate than users realise and fail to come with any information about reliability. Every year forecasts inform a wide variety of planning and policy development activities and influence investment decisions worth billions of dollars. In order to increase the value of forecasts to users, this project will combine methods from a range of disciplines to devise more accurate ways of forecasting populations, and provide accompanying information on their likely error.

CDU, University of Manchester & University of Queensland


Social resilience benchmarking in the Northern Gulf region (2014)

To update and expand upon the existing social resilience benchmarking with the most current and best available data and evidence, providing a current assessment of the social resilience of Gulf communities against a set of prescribed indicators, with reference to climate change drivers.

JCU & Gulf Horizons Foundation


Acquired brain injury assessment, education and prevention in northern Australia

The research team led by Dr Anne Stephens and Dr India Bohanna submitted their final report to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (DisabilityCare Australia), Assessment of acquired brain injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: Guidance for DisabilityCare Australia. 

Collaboration with JCU School of Public Health, Psychology, The Cairns Institute


Substance misuse and therapeutic intervention in northern Australia

Dr Anne Stephens has led a research team at the Cairns Institute submitted their final report for Lives Lived Well Australia Inc., to evaluate the outcomes of alcohol and drug rehabilitation services in far north Queensland.

Collaboration with JCU School of Public Health, Psychology and The Cairns Institute, Lives Lived Well, and researchers the University of Newcastle.


Remote Indigenous Gardens (RIG) Network

Dr Anne Stephens has maintained an active engagement with the RIG network helping to establish its presence on Cape York and assist in the development of quality, well-researched resources. She contributed to and reviewed Food and other gardens in and about remote communities. A Guide – planning considerations and project opportunities is commissioned by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, published October, 2013.

JCU & FoodSwell Inc. t/a the RIG network


Training for Impact, Training for Healing and Training for Life

The Wontulp Bi-Buya College partnership has resulted in the project titled “Training for Impact:  Building an understanding of community development training and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community development outcomes”.  Several commissioned reports were prepared and submitted to the Healing Foundation (December 2014), TEAR Australia (November, 2014) and for the Federal Department of Health and Ageing (September, 2015).

Dr Stephens (TCI) & Wontulp Bi-Buya College


International Student Experience of Employment in the NT

Examination of the views of international students, Darwin employers and government agencies on the employment experiences of NT students



Multicultural community organisations: Supporting and promoting the Northern Territory as an international education destination

Examination of the views and potential role of multicultural community organisations in enhancing the experience of international students in the Northern Territory



Chasing the Winds

This collaboration between CDU and ANU is a modern history of weather and climate. Its geographical focus is northern Australia, East Timor and the broader Arafura/Timor and Maritime Continent regions; its period, from 1600 onwards.
In conjunction with a number of other projects – mostly maritime archaeology and marine biology – it investigates climate history with a view to understanding climate change. Using human documents, it aims to complement studies drawing on ecological archives.



Warruwi Fisheries &
Aquaculture Knowledge Partnership Project

The Warruwi Fisheries and Aquaculture Knowledge Partnership Project started in 2012, with the aim of collating Traditional Ecological Knowledge on each species and preparing fisheries and aquaculture communication and education materials which drew on Arrakpi (Indigenous) and Western knowledge systems.  It was also an opportunity to foster a closer working relationship between the Darwin Aquaculture Centre and the Warruwi community, by better documenting the aspirations of community members in relation to various aquaculture projects.

CDU, Darwin Aquaculture Centre/ NT Department of Primary Industry & Fisheries & local Aboriginal Corporation.


Scoping North Australian Community Resilience

Hosted by RIEL. This project will undertake and synthesise three streams of research. The Aboriginal Research Practitioners Network (ARPNet) consists of Indigenous researchers trained in Participatory Action Research. They will work in two NT communities (Ngukurr and Gunbalanya) to document community understandings of natural hazards, risks, current response strategies and community capacity. THe North Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) will map the hard, institutional and cultural assests which underpin local capacity and the delivery of emergency services (and which are at risk during a hazard). And the Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) at CDU will work with end users to explore the challenges faced by agencies in the delivery of emergency services to remote communities. The project team will then work collaboratively to identofy where community and agency understandings/ expectations converge and diverge, and areas of community capacity which can be built on to enhance community safety.

This is a collaborative research project involving CDU (RIEL & NI), NAILSMA and ARPNet (including ARPNet's community-based Indigenous researchers at Ngukurr and Gunbalanya). 


Warruwi Women’s Healthy Tucker Program

The program is working with the Warruwi Women’s Healthy Tucker Program (WWHTP) committee, through Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation, to map their aspirations into a feasibility plan for a small social enterprise at Warruwi to provide local healthy wild harvest seafood tucker to older people and disadvantaged families in the community.

CDU & Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation


Role of international student awards in attracting international students in Australia

The aim of this project was to collect data for state/territory wise international student awards and ambassador programmes  and understand its potential role for Northern Territory



Climate adaptation, remote economies and energy futures project

The broad aim of the CRC-REP project is to seek solutions that can be implemented by households and businesses to reduce the intensity of climate change impacts and identify opportunities for ‘carbon’ enterprises in remote Australia

Ninti One, ANU


Valuing Darwin Harbour: engaging community to quantify landscape values in a time of change

The goal of this project is to develop an innovative tool to improve future decision making on the use and management of Darwin Harbour foreshore. The tool will include spatial information (digital maps) on what the people of Darwin value (e.g. economic, cultural, biodiversity, aesthetic, learning and education values) in Darwin Harbour and along the foreshore, including how values differ among different stakeholders groups (e.g. traditional owners and recreational fishers).

Australian Institute of Marine Science, Michael Douglas (TRaCK/RIEL), in-kind from Territory NRM, and endorsement from NT Environment Centre and Amateur Fishermen's Association of the Northern Territory.


Ecogenomic tracing of food webs

One of the projects that has emerged from the CRN is a joint project between CDU and AIMS funded by the North Australia Marine Research Alliance (NAMRA) and led by Dr Tom Rayner. This study is based on the hypothesis that bacteria in the environment and in the guts of animals have distinctive signatures that allow us to track where animals have been and who has eaten who – in other words reconstruct food webs.

ANU, CDU, AIMS, NT Fisheries


Environmental DNA

A spin-off from the NAMRA project has seen development of a new line of enquiry in environmental DNA. This cutting-edge technique involves filtering a cup of water collected from sites of interest, extracting DNA from the water and sequencing that DNA to identify the fish species present. The technique has potential for large-scale uptake in biosecurity and threatened species management across Northern Australia.



Economic and Social Benefit Analysis for the Arnhem Link Road Upgrade

Development of methodological framework to demonstrate the long-term benefits of improved road infrastructure in remote regions, and joint assessment of the Arnhem Link upgrade proposal

CDU, Sitzler PTY LTD


Doctoral Research Project: Exploring the Development of a Heat Stress Warning and Management Tool for Northern Australia

This is an interdisciplinary doctoral research project that explores the development of a ‘Heat Stress Warning and Management Tool’ for the monsoonal north of Australia. This project provides the research needed to produce a public communication tool for heat stress risk that is appropriate for the unique conditions of the monsoonal north region, including the ‘Top End’ of the Northern Territory. The PhD student will work with the Supervision team and project collaborators at the Bureau of Meteorology to identify how such a tool should be created.

CDU, NTG Dept of Health


SME (small medium enterprises) and Innovation and regional development

Case study based project identifying the nature and extent of R&D production in northern SMES, and the adequacy of innovation policy

Targeted: NT DoB, Crocodylus, Humpty Doo Barra farm