Sustainable Land Sector Development in Northern Australia sets out a vision for developing North Australia based on a culturally appropriate and ecologically sustainable land sector economy. This vision supports both Indigenous cultural responsibilities and aspirations, as well as enhancing enterprise opportunities for society as a whole. In the past, well-meaning if often misguided policy agendas have failed - and continue to fail - North Australians. This book helps breach that gap by acknowledging and harnessing Indigenous cultural strengths and knowledge systems for looking after the country and its people, as part of a smart, novel and diversified ecosystem services economy.
Preamble. Change and continuity: the North Australia cultural landscape. Northern Australian History — Dispossession, Colonisation and the Assertion of Indigenous Rights. Economic Development across the North: historical and current context of possible alternatives. Towards a sustainable diversified land sector economy for North Australia. Resilient communities and reliable prosperity. Like a Rusty Nail, You Can Never Hold Us Blackfellas Down; Cultural Resilience in the Southwest Gulf Of Carpentaria. Governing Northern Australian landscapes for a better future.
The editors deserve our gratitude and congratulations on assembling an invaluable guide to what needs to change in the way North Australia is responded to. While this is an expensive volume, it will be an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to understand and engage with the debates about land, water, culture and resources across the region. The urgency of shifting dominant, business-as-usual approaches to national stewardship of this continent, and of integrating the best of Indigenous, cultural and scientific knowledges into considered decision-making, is difficult to overstate. There are terrific illustrations, really powerful, short and articulate boxed texts, excellent references and accessible presentation of data throughout the book.
The volume brings together rigorous research from the humanities in Chapter 3 on the history of dispossession, colonisation and legislation across the North, and from the social sciences in Chapter 4 on economic development policies and programs. Chapter 5 on rethinking sustainable economic foundations across the North, Chapters 6 and 7 on community scale resilience and Chapter 8 on governance are deeply informed by, and engaged with, scientific research in collaboration with diverse Indigenous scientists, communities and values. For geographers, this volume is a terrific supplement to the emerging literature presenting new cultural geographies of the region. In those works, we are beginning to see geography marshalled not as a means of colonising places, but as a partner in treasuring, protecting and celebrating places and their connections across space and time.
This is a very contemporary view of the challenges and opportunities of North Australia. There is none of the boosterism, racism and ignorance that has characterised so many discussions of the region. Instead, this deeply collaborative work presents the thoughtful and well-informed understanding and assessments of people who are d