Issue 11 - 6 December 2011 enews home

Researchers to study military impact on Bradshaw


By Patrick Nelson

(From left) CDU researchers Hmalan Hunter Xenie, Professor Owen Stanley and Dr Natasha Stacey with Associate Professor Andrew McWilliam from ANU

(From left) CDU researchers Hmalan Hunter Xenie, Professor Owen Stanley and Dr Natasha Stacey with Associate Professor Andrew McWilliam from ANU

CDU's Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) has been contracted to study the effects of military training at the Bradshaw Field Training Area near Timber Creek.

The Department of Defence has commissioned a multidisciplinary team of researchers including Professor Owen Stanley (Indigenous economic development), Hmalan Hunter-Xenie (Indigenous engagement) and Dr Natasha Stacey (anthropologist), of RIEL, and Associate Professor Andrew McWilliam (anthropologist) from ANU, to undertake the research.

They will conduct a social impact assessment review and a baseline community assessment of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (for Bradshaw), work out ways to increase benefits and minimise potential risks, and develop monitoring and business plans.

Once a cattle station, the 8700 square kilometre Bradshaw property was purchased by the Australian Government in 1996 and has been the site of military training.

Stakeholders will be interviewed and fieldwork will be undertaken in Timber Creek, Katherine, Kununurra, Wadeye, Peppimenarti, Nganmarriyanga and other locations where the Bradshaw Traditional Owners now live.

The project will be overseen by the Bradshaw Liaison Committee, comprising representatives from Traditional Owners, the Northern Land Council and the Department of Defence.

The research collaboration draws on the longstanding partnership between CDU and the ANU. It also builds on a significant body of work within RIEL on joint management of National Parks involving Traditional Owners, NT Government and Land Councils and more broadly on the theme of livelihoods and well-being associated with the connection between Indigenous people and country.