Budget expenditure: $169,000.00
Project Status:
Principal Investigator: Tom J. Hearn
Organisation: BushTV Enterprises
Project start/end date: 31 Jan 2019 - 5 Dec 2019


This project will result in a high quality, documentary style production that can be used to protect, share and promote Indigenous peoples' own narratives about their fishing practices, rights, customs and knowledge. Indigenous Australians have a rich and enduring connection with their sea country. This connection is powerfully reflected by their traditional and ongoing sustainable management and harvesting of marine and coastal resources. In communicating this connection to Indigenous Australians, it is more powerful to use visual, spoken or pictorial means. This project is also vitally important in terms of Indigenous knowledge preservation, through recording the stories and knowledge of Elders about their marine resources, rights and responsibilities.

Through a series of culturally appropriate, on-country interviews with Indigenous fishers from around Australia, as well as IRG members, our project team will create a documentary that captures valuable stories, insights and aspirations of Indigenous Australians in regard to management and use of marine resources. These perspectives will be complemented by contemporary research findings and best-practice management approaches in relation to Indigenous fisheries issues. The production will touch on the Indigenous RD&E priorities endorsed at the Cairns Forum 2012, including:

•Primacy for Indigenous people
•Acknowledgement of Indigenous cultural practices
•Self-determination of Indigenous rights to use and manage cultural assets and resources
•Economic development opportunities arising from Indigenous peoples' cultural assets and associated rights
•Capacity building opportunities for Indigenous people are enhanced.

Through background research and structured interview processes, the production will draw attention to customary knowledge, cultural rights and responsibilities Indigenous people have over their marine and coastal resources, their contemporary fisheries management and economic development aspirations through the fisheries and seafood sectors, as well as the current impacts on Indigenous fishing practices. The production team will also work to develop a cohesive and compelling narrative for the video, in consultation with the IRG.


1. Research and develop with the IRG 10 compelling stories that together make an informative and educative contribution to Indigenous fishing knowledge systems.
2. Produce 10 by 5 minute stories that particularly relate to Cairns Principles and RD&amp
E Priority Areas
3. Develop an overarching narrative that ties the 10 stories together into a strong 50 minute documentary
4. Document the project methodology in order to provide a framework for future outputs to ensure consistency ofapproach and promote best practice/continual improvement.
5. Provide advice to IRG as required on publishing, distribution and audience uptake of stories.

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