People. Policy. Place Seminars

Northern Institute manage a ‘People Policy Place’ (PPP) Seminar Series that has been running successfully since the launch of the Northern Institute in 2010. These seminars are attended by academic staff, university students, NT & local government and non-government organisations, local businesses, indigenous and industry representatives, and interested members of public.

Our PPP seminars are held in our large meeting room (Savanna Room Yellow 1.2.48) at Northern Institute, CDU Casuarina campus and are generally 30-45mins long followed by a Q&A session with the audience. The seminars can be viewed live via Cisco WebEx if you are unable to attend in person. Seminars are also video recorded and uploaded to our Vimeo channel.

PPP presentations are advertised via our Event Calendar, Facebook & Twitter.

If you would like to present a seminar or would like to recommend someone to present please contact the NI Partnerships Coordinator, Katrina Britnell on telephone 8946 7468 or We welcome your suggestions!

Northern Institute also run regular Policy Briefings






Ms Charlotte Boyer, Senior Research Officer, Centre for Gambling Research, Australian National University

Dr Matthew Steven, Senior Research Fellow – Addictive Behaviours, Menzies School of Health Research

Exploring remote ‘Territory’ to understand gambling in Indigenous communities; an update on the NT Gambling Project
There is limited research available on gambling in remote Indigenous communities. The Centre for Gambling Research (CGR) is undertaking a project in the Northern Territory to build context and understanding of gambling in three remote Indigenous communities. This seminar will present qualitative and quantitative baseline data on gambling in these communities collected through semi-structured interviews, participatory research and surveys in late 2017. The baseline research was undertaken as a precursor to health promotion activities being implemented in each community by Amity Community Services Inc.. These health promotion activities are currently being implemented and aim to reduce the harm associated with gambling in communities. The CGR will use this baseline research to evaluate the outputs and outcomes achieved through the establishment of health promotion activities over the next year.


24 April 2018

@ 2.30pm

Presentation is not available


This event was not recorded

Dr Michael Walsh, Honorary Associate, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney; Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS); Visiting Fellow, ANU; Research Affiliate, CoEDL

The language of money in Aboriginal Australia
Each Australian Language has needed to adapt to new situations: introduced animals (e.g. camels, cows, horses (Walsh 1992) etc.); introduced machines (e.g. bicycles, cars, trucks, windmills etc); introduced names (Walsh 2016). This paper explores ways in which money is referred to, not just individual words but also discourse patterns.

Walsh, Michael 1992 A Nagging Problem in Australian Lexical History. In Tom Dutton, Malcolm Ross and Darrell Tryon (eds.) The Language Game: Papers in Memory of Donald C. Laycock (Canberra: Pacific Linguistics), 507-19.
Walsh, Michael 2016 Introduced personal names for Australian Aborigines: adaptations to an exotic anthroponymy. In Laura Kostanski and Guy Puzey (eds) People, Places, Perceptions and Power, 32-46. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


09 April 2018

@ 2.00pm

Presentation Slides uploaded after event

VIDEO Uploaded after event

Ms Emma C Kettle, Director of Training and Capability, RedR Australia

Civilian deployments into disasters and emergencies
Emma Kettle will introduce the practice of surge deployments and the use of civilian specialists in disaster preparedness and disaster response during rapid onset, protracted and complex emergencies. She will talk about RedR Australia’s role as a Standby Partner to the UN and the mechanism of the DFAT funded Australia Assists Programme. Emma will provide examples of the range of RedR’s work drawing examples from recent emergencies including RedR’s current involvement in the Rohingya emergency in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

28 March 2018

@ 2.30pm


VIDEO Uploaded after event

Kamal Melvani, PhD Student, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University

Farmer’s values drive the rehabilitation of land into forest gardens
The sustainability of forest gardens as a land rehabilitation model in tropical countries depends on farmers’ values for them. Forest gardens are increasing in Sri Lanka because farmers value them. To test this, we interviewed 85 farmers in 9 locations in the Intermediate zone (mean annual rainfall 1750-2500 mm). Interviews were conducted in 2 phases. Phase 1 used semi-structured questions focusing on what and why farmers valued forest gardens. In Phase 2, questions were open-ended and investigated strategies farmers adopted to adapt to rainfall variability, and animal pests. Values elicited were categorised into key themes including utility (food, income, fuelwood, timber, medicine), environmental (soil fertility and moisture), intrinsic (aesthetic, contentment), contingency (tree assets, fuelwood) and bequest. Of all, the most cherished were the utility values - provision of income and food. Farmers appreciated the shade cast by trees, friendly animals that frequented their lands and the salubrious environment. Land was developed not only for profit but also as a legacy bequeathed to their children. Although farmers attributed great value to trees/ long-term crops, they knew that short-term crops (paddy, vegetables) provided food. They were stressed by increasing rainfall variability and animal and insect pests. Farmers adopted many on-farm strategies to adapt to rainfall variability including increasing numbers of tree crops, diversifying short-term crops and changing their cultivation calendar. Long-term crops withstood impacts of animal stress only if they were timber and not fruit trees. Despite multiple stressors, farmers retained forest gardens because of their immense value, which proves that they are sustainable forest models.

06 March 2018

@ 2.30pm

PDF is not available

VIDEO Uploaded after event

Dr Bonny Cumming, Project Officer and Veterinarian, Animal Management in Rural and Remote, Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC)

Them Cheeky Dogs – Challenges and Opportunities in Remote Community Animal Management
Companion animals – historically dog, though increasingly cat populations – are often cited as a concern for remote community residents and visitors alike. Contributing factors include limited access to veterinary services and a wide-spread lack of local government staff with animal management skills or knowledge. This, combined with a relative dearth of peer-reviewed studies examining the physical and mental human health impacts of inadequately managed remote community companion animal populations, results in animal management often falling off the priority list. This presentation will outline some of the challenges that remote local governments and communities face when attempting to implement animal management activities, as well as the many opportunities that exist to improve the status quo.

08 February 2018

@ 2.30pm



This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channel

Ms Cat Street, Project Coordinator, Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor – Indigenous Leadership, Charles Darwin University

Review of Indigenous Higher Education Policy in the Northern Territory – Where have we come from and where are we heading?
The Australian Government is constantly investing in higher education reforms. This has included deregulatory reforms that began in the early 1990s and have contributed to a higher education sector in which institutions are now required to demonstrate ‘performance’ and that they are achieving ‘success’. But the term ‘success’ is arbitrary and can mean different things to different people. This is particularly relevant in the Northern Territory (NT), where Indigenous Australians make up approximately one third of the population and often hold worldviews different to those of policy-makers. This presentation will share the findings of a research project that examined Indigenous perspectives of ‘success’ in higher education in the context of an ever-evolving Indigenous higher education policy landscape. The research paid particular attention to historical government higher education policies and the responses of institutions in the NT to these policies. It is a particularly pertinent time to consider lessons from history about ‘what works’ to place the NT in good stead for its future.

23 January 2018

@ 10.30am



This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channel

Professor Peter Adey, Professor of Human Geography, Royal Holloway University of London

The Way We Evacuate: the politics of mobility in emergency
In 1965 the modernist writer BS Johnson compiled a collection of works from other poets, novelists and journalists reflecting on their experience of evacuation in Britain during World War Two. John Furse’s entry is one of the most compelling. He expresses evacuation’s multiple meanings in such a way that betray the simple but often unacknowledged assumption: that evacuation is for our protection. Instead, for Furse, evacuation is a kind of mobility that empties out, a movement that is done-to, rather than by someone. Evacuation leaves others, or a space - a vacuum – behind. It discharges the unwanted and abject from within the body or boundary. Evacuation is a withdrawal, a retreat.
The paper sets out a writing project that traces a genealogy of evacuation mobilities. It indicates the assemblages of mobilities, machines, architectures and networks which perform evacuation, as well as the bundles of ideas, discourses and practices which both justify and contest it. Potential case-studies from the Australian context will be explored.