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

Upcoming 2019 speakers
  • Dr Deepika Mathur, Northern Institution CDU, September 2019
  • Dr Kazumasa Hanaoka, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Ritsumeikan University, Japan, 15 October 2019.
  • Dr Janine Joyce,College of Health & Human Sciences CDU, 7 November 2019
  • Dávid Karácsonyi, Research fellow, Geographical Institute of Hungarian Academy of Sciences / PhD student, Northern Institute, CDU 5 November 2019
  • Professor Janet Wiles and Susan Beetson, The University of Queensland, 07 May 2019 - Postponed Until Further Notice
  • Ben Grimes, College of Business & Law CDU and Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corp. Postponed Until Further Notice
  • Dr Janine Joyce,College of Health & Human Sciences CDU, Cancelled





Professor Dany Adone
Chair of Applied Linguistics, Co-Director of Centre for Australian Studies (Linguistics), Director of Language Lab, Dept. English Studies I, University of Cologne, Germany
University Professorial Fellow, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Australia

Dr. Melanie Anna Brueck
Postdoc Researcher (Applied English Linguistics, Prof. D. Adone), Coordinator of Language Lab, English Department I, University of Cologne, Germany

UNESCO has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. As such, this research seminar will discuss several aspects of documenting Indigenous sign systems in Australia and the Pacific in order to preserve cultural heritage.
Part one focuses on Indigenous alternate sign languages in Australia, in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Current work on Yolŋu Sign Language, Arnhem Land Signed Lingua Franca, and Miriwoong Sign Language will be presented.
Part two covers Indigenous sign languages in the Pacific Islands region, focussing on Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Similar to spoken languages, these sign languages are endangered and will be replaced by foreign sign languages if no action is taken to save them.

RSVP via Facebook or directly to (RSVP essential form seating purposes)

WebEx Unavailable

08 August 2019

@ 10.30am

Presentation Slides unavailable


This event was
not recorded

Associate Professor Läwurrpa Maypilama & Associate Professor Anne Lowell, College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society, Charles Darwin University & PhD Student, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University

'Growing up Yolŋu' Website Launch
New website, “Ŋuthanmaram djamarrkuḻiny’ märrma’kurr romgurr: Growing up children in two worlds”, which shares Yolŋu cultural strengths and priorities in early childhood with the world, will be launched by researchers Associate Professor Läwurrpa Maypilama & Associate Professor Anne Lowell. The launch will involve presentations by the project team followed by a light luncheon.
Project Team: Anne Lowell, Lawurrpa Maypilama, Lyn Fasoli, Rosemary Gundjarranbuy, Jenine Godwin-Thompson, Emily Armstrong, Yalŋarra Guyula, Megan Yunupiŋu, Abbey Guyula, Dwayne Gurruwiwi, Rose McEldowney, Jane Garrutju
Visit the website

RSVP via Facebook or directly to (RSVP essential for catering & seating purposes)

21 June 2019

@ 12.30pm

Presentation Slides will be uploaded when available


This event will
be recorded
and uploaded to our VIMEO Channe

Robyn Williams, College of Health & Human Sciences, Charles Darwin University

Connecting the conceptual and practical dots - preparation of health professionals to work effectively and safely in Indigenous primary health care settings
The establishment and contribution of a consistent, culturally safe and effective workforce is seen as crucial to enabling equity and access to health care and improving health outcomes. The inquiry at the centre of this PhD thesis is what kind of preparation do health professionals need to work effectively in Indigenous primary health care contexts. The research question was explored with twenty-two participants using in-depth interviews. Participants were health professionals (nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals who are (or have been) working in Indigenous urban, rural and remote locations.
A constructivist grounded theory approach was used.  This involved in-depth interviews, follow up conversations, and Charmaz’s grounded theory method to analyse the interview data, thereby building a theory.
Four major themes emerged from the data and came together to form a theory of ongoing preparation.  Namely, that preparation for practice never really ends.  It is ongoing, cyclical, and affected or influenced by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. 
It is intended that in the long term, the research will contribute to education and practice about how health professionals can work more effectively using a cultural safety model; ultimately contributing to better health outcomes for Indigenous peoples.


16 May 2019

@ 10.30am

PRESENTATION SLIDESThis event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channe

Dávid Karácsonyi, Research fellow, Geographical Institute of Hungarian Academy of Sciences / PhD student, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University

Systematic cartographic visualisation as a tool for communicating our research output
Thematic maps and figures organised in a systematic manner could serve as a corporate identity for those institutions have a regional research focus, such as the Northern Institute of Charles Darwin University. It is not only geography-dedicated research centres are taking advantage of systematic cartographic visualisations; maps and maps-like visualisations as a tool for branding their institutions. For example Nordregio in Stockholm, Sweden – a sister institution of Northern Institute – has also a strong and coherent cartographic profile.
Thematic cartography is a practical tool representing environmental or socio-economic processes and serves as excellent ‘communication platforms’ for research outputs of wide range of disciplines. There is an increasing need for cartographic and map-like visualisations in interdisciplinary researches as well. Complex and interlinked social, economic and environmental challenges in the era of globalisation and climate change regularly require a spatial-geographic perspective with supported visualisation.
In this presentation you will not only observe introduction of systematic cartographic visualisations and recent GIS techniques which could bolster projects ranging from ecology and economy to demography and Indigenous studies but I am also going to summarise how cartography could be used to formulate corporate identity based on examples provided by selected projects and institutions.


02 May 2019

@ 2.30pm

Presentation Slides
is unavailable
This event was
not recorded

Dr John Guenther, Research Leader - Education and Training, BIITE, Adjunct – Northern Institute
Professor Ian Falk, Supervisory Board Member, Indonesian Biosecurity Foundation (IBF)

Generalising from Qualitative Research (GQR): A new old approach
In this presentation we debunk a long-held myth that generalisation is primarily the domain of quantitative research. Based on a review of modern and historical approaches to generalisation, we argue that generalisation from qualitative research (GQR) can be achieved, not through a process of self-justification, but through defensible and rigorous research design and methods. We go on to consider examples from their own qualitative research work spanning the last 20 years, mostly in the Northern Territory and Indonesia. From these examples we offer mechanisms that qualitative researchers can employ to generalise from their findings. We suggest that generalisation is achieved through a process of generalisation cycles (GCs) which produce normative truth statements (NTSs), which in turn can be contested or confirmed with theory and empirical evidence.


09 April 2019

@ 10.30am

PRESENTATION SLIDESThis event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channe

Greg Fry, Honorary Associate Professor, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University

Acknowledging Indigenous Diplomacy

The Uluru Statement from the Heart recommended makarrata as a diplomatic concept that could take reconciliation forward. The failure of the Australian Government to acknowledge this recommendation is emblematic of a more general lack of acknowledgement, on the part of dominant western knowledge systems, of the existence of ancient diplomatic systems and principles governing inter-group relations in indigenous Australia.

In this seminar Greg asks, firstly, why is there this is lack of acknowledgement of such an important social institution; secondly, why is it important to acknowledge its existence and effectiveness; and thirdly, what pathways could lead to greater acknowledgement of these ancient and effective diplomatic systems, and of their potential contemporary relevance to governance, conflict resolution, and reconciliation? 

The seminar will conclude with an outline of a proposed partnership between the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the ANU, and CDU’s College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society Yolŋu Studies area, aimed at contributing to such acknowledgment.

21 February 2019

@ 10.30am

Presentation Slides are available in the videoThis event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channe

Rebecca Hardwick Post Doctoral Research Associate, Northern Institute, Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society

“Introducing the Realist Research Evaluation and Learning Initiative: who are we, what do we do and what can we do for you?"

The Realist Research Evaluation and Learning Initiative brings together researchers and evaluators skilled in applying “the realist approach” to complex policy problems.  In this seminar, Rebecca, one of the team members, will give an introduction to who’s who in the team, explain what we do (i.e. what is “the realist approach”) with reference to an evaluation she is doing on gender and agroforestry, and also outline some of the ways the team could be of use to others across the Northern Institute and further afield.

14 February 2019

@ 10.30am

Presentation Slides
is unvailable
This event was
not recorded

Traceylee Forester, Indigenous Partnerships Coordinator, Australian Institute of Marine Science

A journey to greater Traditional Owner engagement in marine science

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) is Australia’s tropical marine research agency. We believe that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the Australian Institute of Marine Science have a strong and productive shared future in marine science. We recognise that natural synergies exist between AIMS’ research interests and the management and protection of Sea Country interests of Traditional Owners on the coasts and continental shelf of northern Australia – from Exmouth to the southern Great Barrier Reef. We believe in the importance of working hand-in-hand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to develop a better understanding of each other and our marine environments. We have benefited first-hand from the mutual learning that comes from working closely with Traditional Owners and are committed to building further meaningful relationships based on trust and respect and achieving mutually beneficial outcomes from sharing experience and knowledge. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Strategy is our commitment to this outcome.
This seminar will present aspects of AIMS’ Strategic Plan, the engagement indicators and how these aspirations interact with Traditional Owners around the coastal areas of tropical Australia. This presentation will also include: engagement from the perspective of a Traditional Owner group from Cape York, QLD; consideration of the cultural protocols and restrictions that may impact on building meaningful partnerships with the First Nation Peoples; interaction of scientists and researchers with Traditional Owners, particularly regarding the intersection of western science and traditional knowledge; and, is it possible to merge the two schools of thought?

29 October 2018

@ 1.30pm

Presentation Slides are available in the video 

This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channe

Ganesh Koramannil,  Lecturer, College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society, Charles Darwin University & PhD Student, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University

Going beyond the surface of diversity: parallels of practices and prospects of common grounds - A personal reflection on Indian and Indigenous cultural fabrics and undercurrents

Growing up in India makes someone simultaneously multilingual and multicultural. Further, a complex yet liberal religious worldview imparted could make one uber-sensitive to linguistic, cultural and spiritual comparatives. Migrating from such a background to the differently complex linguistic, cultural and spiritual landscape of Australia makes it inevitable that the mind starts viewing life from two different cultural vantage points, traverse between the past and the present lives, the Indian and the Australian personal realities. This experiential insight activates an eagerness to understand the prevalent cultural maintenance in both societies. This paper provides an exclusive personal perspective of Indian and Indigenous Australian cultural allusions and argues for the creation of common grounds for cultural cohabitation to seek intercultural understanding and to design cultural bridges.

09 October 2018

@ 10.30am

Presentation Slides are available in the video


This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channel

Ben Grimes, Lecturer in Law, Charles Darwin University, Australia

Language, power and representative democracy: To what extent does English language dominance undermine good governance and democracy in the Northern Territory?
The NT is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, with nearly 70% of Aboriginal Territorians speaking an Aboriginal language as their primary language. Not only does language serve as an essential tool for clear communication, language use and recognition is a powerful vehicle for social inclusion or exclusion.
This seminar will articulate some of  the ways in which the unconscious and deliberate dominance of English undermines good governance and democracy in the NT. The seminar will use the NT Legislative Assembly’s current standing order restricting the use of non-English languages in Parliament as a case study to illustrate the politics of language in the NT, and the implications of English language dominance in government on speakers of minority languages.
The seminar will briefly canvas approaches to language issues in other contexts, such as the legal system, education and health, together with various approaches taken in other countries to more appropriately reflect the multi-lingual fabric of society. Ultimately, this seminar hopes to solicit concrete ideas about how the NT can better reflect its rich multi-lingual character, and to find persuasive ways of articulating the benefits of pro-actively including non-English languages – particularly in places of power.

02 October 2018

@ 10.30am


This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channel

Professor Marie Carla D. Adone, University of Cologne, Germany The Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Australia

A Signed Lingua Franca in Bimodal Bilingual Arnhem Land
In this paper Prof Dany discusses the case of an Indigenous alternate signing system that we call Arnhem Land Signed Lingua Franca (henceforth ALSLF) in Adone et al. (2018). This signing system coexists with primary and alternate Indigenous sign languages in Arnhem Land and forms part of a continuum (Adone et al. forthcoming).
In the first part of the paper she takes a close look at the sociolinguistic background of this alternate signing system and argues that it functions as a lingua franca, sharing similarities with various lingua francas found elsewhere in the world. She also argues that it reflects the cultural practices of this bimodal bilingual region. In the second part of the paper Prof. Adone focuses on some key structural features of ALSLF. Finally, she concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings.

11 September 2018

@ 10.30am

Presentation Slides not available 

This event was not recorded

Professor Peter Radoll, Dean of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy, University of Canberra

Is Canberra the Centre? How do you get the corridors of power to engage with the regions in ways that make sense to Aboriginal people in remote and regional contexts?
Located on the ancient lands of the Ngunnawal People and situated between Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra is the centre of Government power in Australia. What shapes and influences policy isn’t what we all might think. Australia is meant to be a representative democracy, yet the representation is so uneven that significant areas of the population have little voice. So how do we get the corridors of power to engage with remote and very remote communities.

15 August 2018

@ 12.00pm

ASP.15.1.01 - Lecture Theatre, Alice Springs Campus / available on WebEx

Presentation Slides not available 

This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channel

Dr Cass Hunter, Indigenous Social-Ecological Researcher, CSIRO

The right information, to the right people, in the right format
Science communication has a long history of relaying technical information to audiences not trained to interpret academic material. Our brains are hardwired to remember visual or sensory information much better than abstract concepts. Creating the right environment for understanding and using science information means key elements must come together before research is actually translated into benefits. Translation of research is about getting the right information, to the right people, and in the right format. Good science communication does not often happen by chance but is based on strategic and selective design. By understanding the need for selective co-designing it means information can be further packaged according to the target audience and communication preference. Defining what is “right” for particular target groups begins with asking them. In this presentation, we focus on research in the Torres Strait that plans to use community and stakeholder input to improve the use and interpretation of environmental data. By working with communities and stakeholders we aim to understand how to go about developing an improved information system as tailored to the priorities and preferences of key target groups.

Dr Leah Talbot, Indigenous Social-Ecological Researcher, CSIRO

Indigenous knowledge and governance in Protected Areas in Australia and Sweden and CSIRO’s Indigenous Futures Initiative
Protected areas across the world are key to biodiversity survival and long term sustainability of the world’s natural and cultural resources. These areas are also home to Indigenous Peoples whose traditional lands often resides within or partly within protected area boundaries. I draw on the findings of two international case-studies, Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Laponia World Heritage Area. Findings reveal that Indigenous Peoples sovereignty of governance and the nation-state sovereignty, along with shared governance arrangements, are critical to supporting Indigenous knowledge effectively being applied in protected areas. I also show how developing an ‘Empowering Indigenous Lens’ as the research methodology enables Indigenous worldviews, epistemologies, and ontologies to underpin and support such findings to be revealed. In addition, Leah will share with you a little about CSIRO’s Indigenous Futures initiative.

07 August 2018

@ 10.00am

Presentation Slides not available 

VIDEO Uploaded after event

Stephanie von Gavel, Business Development Manager, CSIRO Land & Water

Indigenous Knowledge and Digital Platforms
In partnership with Indigenous communities working on country, the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA – is exploring the role of information management platforms in bridging the boundaries between traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge and western science. This presentation will provide an overview of the ALA’s Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK) program of work which aims to recognise the essential nature of a collaborative approach, and to provide tools to enable and empower greater Indigenous participation in biodiversity information management and assessment, and to support other aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people related to ecological or biodiversity knowledge. The presentation will also pose some questions around the role of digital infrastructures or platforms in how Indigenous knowledge is digitally captured, managed, and shared in the “information supply chain”.

30 July 2018

@ 3.30pm


This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channel

Valese Sewell, Assistant Director, Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, Australian Bureau of Statistics

Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts, 2006-2016
There were 649,171 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people counted in the 2016 Census. This represented an 18 per cent (100,803 people) increase since the 2011 Census and is comparable to the increase of 21 per cent observed between 2006 and 2011. These increases are greater than can be explained by demographic factors alone (e.g. births over deaths and internal/overseas migration) and have important implications for the interpretation of Census data for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with the guidance of a specialist advisory group, including a representative from CDU (Dr Andrew Taylor) is currently undertaking analysis on the increase in counts between 2011 and 2016. This work builds on analysis published by the ABS following the 2011 Census as Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counts (ABS cat. no. 2077.0). The analysis focuses on:

  • Changes in the composition of the increase population (e.g. changes in age/sex structures and geographic distribution)
  • Demographic factors of population change (e.g. births, deaths and migration)
  • Changing propensity to identify
  • People for whom Indigenous status is unknown
  • Impact of the increase on selected characteristics such as education attainment, labour force participation and income

This session will consist of an overview of analysis and findings to date presented by the ABS followed by discussion time where attendees will be asked to provide feedback and input on the current approach to this analysis and opportunities for further analysis.

17 July 2018

@ 9.30am

Presentation Slides not available 


VIDEO Uploaded after event

Tim Saul, Head of nbn™ local South Australia/Northern Territory for NBN Co

The NBN effect
NBN Co (nbn) was established in 2009 to design, build and operate Australia’s new high-speed, wholesale local access broadband network. Underpinned by a purpose to connect Australia and bridge the digital divide, nbn’s key objective is to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices, and at least cost.
With the nbn rollout almost 100% complete across the Northern Territory and scheduled to be complete across Australia by 2020, this is a perfect opportunity to discuss the impact that the nbn has had to date. August 9 2016, was not only Census night but it also marked a point where almost 1 in 3 homes could access the nbn network. NBN Co realised that the Census data would capture a social and economic snapshot of a nation in transition – we had ourselves a control group – those who had been connected to the nbn versus those who had not.
Shortly after the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the final Census results, nbn commissioned economics firm AlphaBeta to conduct the first real-world study of the social and economic impacts of the nbn rollout. The results are evidence that nbn is delivering on its original  purpose to foster productivity and drive economic and social benefits for all Australians.
This seminar will unpack some of the findings from this research, look at how nbn is complementing the evolving digital landscape and discuss some of the exciting work the nbn local team is doing to support regional, rural and remote Australia.

03 July 2018

@ 2.30pm

Presentation Slides not available 

This event was recorded and uploaded to our VIMEO Channel