NI International

NI International builds on the Northern Institute’s international reputation and networks, and provides global mobility to support NI researchers, students and research collaborators to create international links and access to international resources. NI International strives to deliver research that is globally recognised and world class by immersion into the social and academic cultures of other countries. This provides linkage opportunities for all stakeholders, and in turn NI embraces knowledge discovery and universal connections.

These linkages enable:

  • Participation in internationally funded research opportunities and collaborations
  • Taking the lead in international research activities of relevance and creating further linkages through those activities
  • Facilitation of international student, researcher and specialist exchanges (both inbound and outbound of Australia)
  • Coordination of international and collaborative activities such as publication writing, networking and workshops, seminar/conference organisation

NI International has two main geographic areas of focus at the moment – our near northern neighbours in Asia, and the far northern Arctic region. The Institute is exploring opportunities to extend NI International activities into other ‘non northern’ regions where similar contextual issues apply, such as sparsely populated areas and areas with substantial Indigenous populations. Existing relationships in these regions provide excellent opportunities for NI International collaboration. 

NI International (Arctic) allows the Northern Institute to continue to develop Australian (and other) markets through expertise gained by collaboration with Arctic partners. The development of northern regions of Australia, as seen in similar territories around the Arctic Circle, is significantly impacted by the mining, pastoralist, tourism and energy industries and involves working with Indigenous people through Indigenous land tenure, access and/or partnership arrangements. The pressure for growth in northern regions demands work to understand the ways Indigenous people, local communities, industries and governments can work together through context-specific approaches to support economic and social development, support cultural diversity, manage rapid change in their own and external circumstances, and to provide scalable approaches that support partnership and negotiation.

NI International (Artic) is currently focused on: 

  1. Economic and demographic change at the village level
  2. Health workforce governance
  3. Indigenous experiences of resource-extractive activities
  4. Tourism development

NI International (Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste) engage in a wide range of trilateral initiatives that are advancing practical outcomes for the economic benefit of the region, particularly in the fields of development cooperation and cross-border agricultural research. The governments of Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste are keen to enhance multilateral engagement and explore the potential for greater engagement and transnational value chains in the region, particularly in areas such as agriculture and fisheries, transport, infrastructure, education and training, services such as telecommunications, the environment, oil industry and services, and cultural and community activities that support broader engagement.  

There is a need to identify the partnership arrangements, enterprise knowledge and pre-conditions that support micro enterprises in the region to enable regional development and the potential supply chains to encourage sustainability and growth of businesses. Through NI International, Indonesian and Australian researchers participate in workshops which are designed to inspire collaborative research and writing. These programs reflect the range of projects with which the Institute and its partners are currently engaged, exploring links and covering such research themes as local knowledge systems, workforce evaluation and development, social participation and community engagement, trade and access development. 


Since it’s commencement, NI International has built upon the Northern Institute’s international relationships with a number of activities including:

  • Adjunct appointments with researchers in New Zealand, Canada, Sweden, Norway and France
  • Visiting scholars are developing projects with the Institute’s research teams on key issues for development of the region
  • International research students partner in projects and come from Austria, Indonesia, China, Spain, Sri Lanka, India, Canada and the USA
  • The Richard Ryan Workshop Series develops high level research partnerships and translation activities in Sweden and Indonesia
  • Research exchange agreements with universities in Indonesia, Sweden, Austria and Canada promote staff and student exchange and knowledge sharing about northern development issues
  • The Master of Public Policy has been developed as a result of international partnerships and promotes student exchange in the region
  • The production of numerous books and journal special issues that share research on key issues in northern development

NI International’s successes are a direct result of the research and partnership expertise which the Northern Institute uses to develop resilient relationships through people to people interactions and the diverse yet specialised expertise of the Institutes researchers. Recent successes include:

  • Participation in a European Union €2,000,000 grant examining recruitment and retention of professional and skilled workers in sparsely populated areas
  • Collaboration with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to conduct research into demographic change and primary care services in sparsely populated areas
  • Production of three books and four journal special issues
  • A formal Graduate Program agreement with University of Nusa Cendana, Indonesia
  • Student exchange agreements with Universities in Sweden, Austria, Canada
  • Tri-lateral collaboration between Australia, Indonesia and Timor Leste which aims at supporting businesses to manage challenges of working across borders and to maintain linkages long term