Project number: 2009-323
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $49,000.00
Principal Investigator: Chris E. Calogeras
Organisation: C-AID Consultants
Project start/end date: 14 Dec 2009 - 29 Jun 2010


Around 2.5% of Australia’s population is Indigenous, with the NT higher at 30%. Many remote communities in northern Australia are largely Indigenous.

Current discussion between the NTG and Indigenous groups is likely to see increased opportunities for Indigenous engagement in a broad range of fishing industry activities. The need for improved, coordinated, culturally appropriate RD&E and capacity building has been raised a number of times.

Despite extensive funding for Indigenous employment, training and education, Australia still lacks numbers of appropriately qualified Indigenous people, particularly in remote areas. Many previous attempts to provide these opportunities have largely been unsuccessful. Therefore to maximise these opportunities there is a need to have innovative and coordinated RD&E to assist in building capacity.

A number of institutions are undertaking Indigenous RD&E across Australia. Many Indigenous people feel that better results would be achieved by undertaking this in Indigenous communities where existing seafood industry and resource management activities already occur. Top End Indigenous groups have expressed an interest in developing local institutions to deliver RD&E and training related to the seafood industry, including wild-harvest, research, aquaculture, fishing tourism and resource management through a coordinated vehicle.

There is a need to investigate Indigenous people’s aspirations to scope the types of services required and delivery models which will address needs in a culturally appropriate manner, through Indigenous specific programs.

The NT is well placed to take a lead role in investigating the potential for a national investment in Indigenous Fisheries-RD&E. The aim of the project is to assess the potential for the establishment of a CoE in which investments can be planned, coordinated and funded across a range of prospective partners. However, before such a decision can be made, it is considered prudent to undertake a scoping study.


1. Preparation of a scoping paper to assess the feasibility and level of support for developing an Indigenous Fisheries Centre of Excellence (IFCoE)

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-646-54277-5
Author: Chris Calogeras
Final Report • 2010-12-11 • 972.17 KB


A number of individual, organisations and institutions across Australia are undertaking some form of Indigenous focussed Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) that has a fishing and seafood focus.  However in many instances this RD&E to the Indigenous sector has not been delivered in a strategic and coordinated manner.  

A number of Indigenous groups have expressed an interest in developing local institutions to deliver training, and to a lesser extent undertake RD&E, related to the seafood industry, including wild-harvest, research, aquaculture, fishing tourism, compliance and resource management.  It has been proposed that optimised outcomes may be best achieved by developing a coordinated approach through a more formalised service delivery vehicle, thereby allowing the development of areas of expertise across northern Australia to enhance delivery of RD&E to Indigenous people, service providers and funders. 

Many Indigenous people have expressed a view that greater involvement and better results would be achieved by undertaking RD&E in Indigenous communities, in close collaboration with, or being lead by Indigenous people.  Discussions have also shown that there is a need to focus RD&E towards programs that provide real socio/economic benefit to Indigenous people.

This Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) supported project sought to collect information that would allow an assessment of the feasibility of establishing an Indigenous Fisheries Centre of Excellence (IFCoE) to cover northern Australia.  

Keywords: Indigenous, Research, Development & Extension (RD&E), fishing and seafood industry.

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