2017 AMSA Indigenous Engagement Workshop Summary

The 2017 Australian Marine Science Association (AMSA) Indigenous Engagement Workshop was convened in Darwin on 7 July 2017 to promote Indigenous engagement in marine science by sharing information on successes and identifying what can be done to advance meaningful collaboration.

The 2017 workshop created a space for cross-cultural learning about what is needed to develop collaborations through:

  • Sharing examples of successful engagement: how did the partners get started on their collaborative research projects, why do they think these collaborations worked, how did the partners work together to troubleshoot problems along their journey and what were some potential road blocks that could have stopped their collaboration?
  • Providing marine scientists with information on some key resources that are available to help them begin their journey of appropriate Indigenous engagement.
  • Panel discussion around how and when to engage and what is still required to have successful engagement in sea country research collaborations.

Presentations and discussions provided a valuable learning experience about the ways Indigenous communities are engaging in marine science projects and programs in Australia. Engagement is a big topic with many considerations. But we need to learn from what works, and what doesn’t, and proceed with no fear. The keys to effective engagement in projects and programs were identified along with valuable insights into things we can do (i.e. as individuals, institutions and through collaborations) above the level of research projects and programs to create a richer Indigenous engagement in marine science.

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