Enabling CSIRO research and innovation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Wednesday, 3 July 2019
Dr Marcus Barber
Louisa Warren
Leah Talbot
Mibu Fischer
Ray Mahoney

CSIRO is the national science organisation and is increasingly emphasising research by, with, and for the nations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This growing feature of the organisation’s core business is guided by the CSIRO Reconciliation Action Plan that outlines a diverse and holistic approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement - staff recruitment and development; procurement and purchasing; and organisational research initiatives such as Indigenous Futures. Current science strengths in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collaborative and co-research include: diversifying sustainable on-country livelihood and market participation options; supporting natural and cultural resource management development; improving health and wellbeing; and fostering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander science innovation. We provide examples of recent successes, highlighting novel partnerships between Indigenous communities, research agencies, non-government organisations, and industry partners. These partnerships can: scale up local livelihood success stories; provide the underpinning science to support entrepreneurship; empower participation in major development initiatives; enhance health and wellbeing; and identify ‘win-win’ outcomes for Australia’s First Nations peoples. They can also foster the cultural understanding and connections necessary for successful co-existence. CSIRO has a growing profile with the nation’s First Australians as a science provider, research partner, and favoured employer. This presentation highlights current successes, key issues, and future possibilities.