, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 171–176 | Cite as

Australian Indigenous Land Management, Ecological Knowledge and Languages for Conservation

  • Rosalie SchultzEmail author
  • Tammy Abbott
  • Jessica Yamaguchi
  • Sheree Cairney
Short Communication


Many Indigenous Australians hold cultural, ecological and language knowledge, but common representations of Indigenous Australians focus on social disadvantage and poor comparisons with other Australians in education, employment and health. Indigenous Land Management works with Indigenous people’s cultural, ecological and language expertise, employing Indigenous people in activities contributing to biodiversity conservation. The Interplay research surveyed 841 Indigenous people in remote communities. Those employed in land management reported greater participation in cultural activities, language knowledge, and belief that their land was looked after. These related assets provide an opportunity for policy approaches based on Indigenous people’s strengths and contribution to Australia.


Indigenous land management Indigenous ecological knowledge Indigenous languages Aboriginal Australians Biodiversity Disadvantage Cross-cultural knowledge 



The Interplay project was supported by funding from the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre Program through the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (CRC-REP, hosted by Ninti One Limited). We acknowledge the support and involvement of our key organisational stakeholders: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Centre for Remote Health (Flinders University and Charles Darwin University), Flinders NT-Katherine, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Northern Territory, Banatjarl Strongbala Wumin Grup, Central Desert Native Title Services, Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, Kalano Community Association, Katherine Stolen Generations Group, Layhnapuy Homelands Aboriginal Corporation, Marthakal Homelands Resource Centre, Martu Rangers (Wiluna), Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation, Muntjiltjarra Wurrgumu Group, Northern Star Resources, Ngangganawili Aboriginal Health Service Community, StrongBala Men’s Health Program, Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service, Yalu Marŋgithinyaraw Aboriginal Corporation and Yolngu Business Enterprises. Rosalie Schultz is supported by a scholarship from Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, through the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Jessica Yamaguchi is an Advisor working for the Australian Government. The views and opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Australian Government and/or any State or Territory Governments.


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Copyright information

© EcoHealth Alliance 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Remote HealthFlinders UniversityAlice SpringsAustralia
  2. 2.Ninti One LtdAlice SpringsAustralia
  3. 3.Department of the Prime Minister and CabinetInformation and Evaluation BranchCanberraAustralia

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