CDU's Desert Knowledge projects on show in Alice Springs 


Charles Darwin University Researchers, Academic and Community and Access staff have this week enjoyed an opportunity to come together and share information about the work being done to enhance desert livelihoods.

They were among approximately 180 participants at the Desert Knowledge CRC-Wide Conference 2006, held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre from February 13-16.

CDU is a partner of the Desert Knowledge Co-operative Research Centre (DK-CRC) - a national research network linking Indigenous and local knowledge with science and education to make the most of living in an arid environment.

The conference was an opportunity to celebrate the progress of projects developed through the partnership and discuss how to further achieve the DK-CRC outcomes, which include:

• Establishing new desert land uses and management options.
• Providing remote communities with sustainable infrastructure and viable service options at a lower cost.
• Capacity building and training.

CDU is involved in a diversity of desert knowledge projects.

These include the development of bush foods for commercial production in Central Australian Indigenous communities, researching how community livelihoods can be improved through the development of 4WD tourism, practical options for heating and cooling in desert buildings and the recognition of Indigenous rights and cultural knowledge in the management of inland waters.

Presentations were made at the conference by CDU’s Head of the School of Australian Indigenous Knowledge Systems Kado Muir, Senior Research Fellow Joc Schmiechen and CDU Research Fellows Dean Carson and Michael Duell.

CDU’s Co-ordinator of Community Engagement, Linda Cuttriss said the conference was a great opportunity for CDU to showcase some of the exciting research projects happening in partnership with the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre.

“All of the projects involve working with Aboriginal communities for outcomes that benefit the community and as such, are excellent examples of community engagement,” she said.