Maximising the level of collaboration within the Hub was a feature of the annual project leaders’ meeting held in Brisbane last month.
Each of the project leaders presented a short synopsis on the progress of their research, and the ideas and conversations each sparked were significant.
“The breadth of research in the project updates highlighted enormous opportunity for linkages and collaborations, which was just what we’d hoped to see,” says Professor Hugh Possingham who was overseeing his final meeting in the role of Hub Director.
It also brought to light a desire to see a more regular cross-fertilisation of projects - an idea that will be considered in future planning.
“There is a genuine desire among project leaders to connect with other projects. Strong connectivity between projects provides opportunities to streamline data collection and engage more efficiently with managers” says Brendan Wintle, who will assume the role of acting Hub Director in September.
Attendees also received a valuable overview of the NESP program from Juanita Watters, Department of the Environment and Energy, who reinforced the need for demonstrable uptake of high quality science and the use of evidence - generated by the Hub - in management, decision-making and policy. The Department’s Peter Lyon provided an overview of ERIN activities and opportunities for integrating Hub research outputs into agency decision support tools, with a particular focus on spatial data.
The Hub’s indigenous engagement, communications, and data management strategies were also discussed, and researchers encouraged to read and understand each of them in developing and undertaking their projects.
Ideas to assist project leaders and theme leaders in ensuring meaningful indigenous engagement and participation opportunities throughout their projects were put forward, and Professor Stephen Garnett encouraged all to prioritise indigenous engagement in both the design and delivery of each project.
“We are in the process of appointing an indigenous liaison officer. This will be an extremely valuable resource for all Hub projects,” says Stephen.
Management of data was a hot topic for many of the project leaders and the leadership group will continue to work closely with the Department in order to develop processes that are workable.
Project leaders were encouraged to speak to Brendan Wintle if they encounter particular data-management issues.
The Hub’s communications plan was also shared and project leaders encouraged to review the processes and protocols housed in the Hub intranet, and regularly provide story ideas to the communications team.
“Guidance for media engagement, including ‘real-time’ advice on handling media is available – so we’d encourage researchers to make use of this,” says Professor John Woinarski.
The group also spent some time gathering articulating ideas and opportunities for the coming years. These will be examined more thoroughly in coming meetings.
See more photos from the workshop on the TSR Hub Facebook page.
Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) Rangers in the Martu Determination have collaborated with Threatened Species Recovery Hub scientists to design a monitoring program for mankarr (the greater bilby). Martu people identified priorities for the bilby monitoring program, then worked with Dr Anja Skroblin from The University of Melbourne to co-develop a monitoring method which brings together Martu knowledge and practice with Western conservation science.
I am a proud Murri from the Kamilaroi Nation in north-west New South Wales. I grew up in western Sydney on Darug land and now live in Canberra on Ngunnawal land.
A new project is aiming to increase city kids’ connections with nature, threatened species conservation and Indigenous culture. Dr Georgia Garrard from RMIT University talks about this project, which will see Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional Owners working with kids at Carlton North Primary School in Melbourne and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners working with kids at Heywood Consolidated School in western Victoria.
For the Larrakia Land and Sea Rangers, the sight of a shell midden in coastal saltpans tells a long history of culture and how their ancestors are connected with the intertidal and mangrove environment. Through a different lens, the Larrakia Rangers also see these shell middens as areas where their culture overlaps with the habitat used by the Critically Endangered migratory shorebird the far eastern curlew.
Threatened species on Indigenous land may be of prime interest to scientists and ecologists, but they are often not the species of greatest importance to the Indigenous landowners. Understanding local priorities for biodiversity is an essential step in ensuring that conservation projects are locally beneficial and supported. Researcher Tom Duncan from Charles Darwin University has been collaborating with the Tiwi Land Council and Tiwi Land Rangers to explore this issue on the Tiwi Islands.