Two Central Australian Aboriginal organisations have joined with the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre to create new research training, employment and enterprise opportunities for desert people.
They are Tapatjatjaka Community Governance Council, which runs Titjikala community near Alice Springs, and Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Association (Waltja), an Aboriginal women’s non-government organisation which supports families and services on remote Central Australian communities.
Jan Ferguson, the Managing Director of the CRC, welcomed Waltja and Titjikala as the newest affiliate partners of the national research network.
“The agreements with both organisations bring us a step closer to our goal of genuine participation of Aboriginal people in research that is useful to them”, she said. Tapatjatjaka Community Governance Council wants to tap into a broader knowledge network to develop their community.
Titjikala elder, Mr Johnny Briscoe, said he hoped the collaboration with the Desert Knowledge CRC would help his community.
“We like to see our projects to combine the best of our knowledge with the best of Western science. We think this is the best way forward”, he said. Titjikala, which already operates a successful cultural tourism business, is exploring the potential of traditional bush foods and medicines for enterprise development in partnership with the Desert Knowledge CRC.
Mr Briscoe became involved with the Desert Knowledge CRC when researchers started to work with his community on the Plants for People project.
The groundbreaking community development project provides research training, documents and protects Aboriginal knowledge about bush medicines and investigates the plants’ medicinal properties and commercial potential.
The Desert Knowledge CRC and its new research partners have agreed on stringent protocols that protect the intellectual property each organisation brings to the collaboration.
They also ensure that the rights to jointly developed intellectual property are shared equally between partners.
Earlier this month, Waltja and the Desert …