Project number: 2019-168
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $33,000.00
Principal Investigator: Peter H. O'Brien
Organisation: Peter O'Brien Consulting
Project start/end date: 28 Feb 2020 - 18 Feb 2021



The FRDC IRG has invested in a number of research projects to advance Indigenous rights, interests, opportunities and engagement in Australia's fisheries. However, fisheries management agencies across the jurisdictions appear to have struggled to engage with or make effective use of these outputs and to make progress with Indigenous fishing interests.

IRG is seeking to commission a project to assist in dealing with this issue. The project is intended to establish effective means for Indigenous fishing R&D outputs to deliver policy and management outcomes. To do this, the project will engage with agencies to understand: their information needs; current progress, impediments and opportunities in integrating Indigenous fishing R&D outputs into their policies and management; and develop a template that can be used by all future PIs to frame IRG research outputs in a form useful to agencies.

There is also an identified need to build Indigenous leadership capacity to shape fisheries policy and management at the highest level. This project involves an Indigenous collaborator and a focus on their development through participation and professional executive coaching. The Indigenous collaborator, will also bring cultural advice and insight to the project.

In terms of IRG priorities, this project has the potential to contribute to:

Establishing the primacy of first nations in the fisheries areas
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.


Success for the project can be measured by:

Development through participation of an Indigenous collaborator and increased cultural awareness in wider participants
Usefulness of a report identifying agency priorities, opportunities and impediments to incorporating Indigenous R&D outputs in policy and management
Indigenous R&D outputs being more readily adopted in policy and management
Usefulness of a template to ensure ongoing adoption and engagement of IRG outputs


1. Document the impediments and opportunities for Indigenous engagement and adoption of IRG project outputs across fisheries management jurisdictions in Australia.
2. Identify the priorities for Indigenous fishing in jurisdictions with a focus on the 5 IRG RD&E priorities.
3. Develop a report synthesizing the impediments, opportunities and priorities for Indigenous fishing engagement and adoption to guide future IRG investment.
4. Develop a template for future IRG projects that will ensure engagement and adoption are maximized.
5. Provide professional development and capacity building for an Indigenous collaborator and grow cultural awareness in wider participants.

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