Jeanie Govan


PhD Candidate

Jeanie graduated with a BA Arts Aboriginal Affairs Administration from University of SA in 1993 and spent 6 months at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, USA as an International Exchange Student. She completed a Masters in Tropical Urban and Regional Planning at James Cook University, Cairns in 2014, her thesis focussing on "Can the Indigenous Home Ownership Program stimulate other economies in remote NT & QLD Aboriginal communities?" It was after completing her Masters that convinced her to begin her PhD journey at CDU in 2015. 

Jeanie was born in Darwin, grew up out of Katherine but her Aboriginal cultural identity dates back to the Tagalak people from Croydon in the Gulf Savannah region in QLD. She has lived and worked mostly in the top end of the NT and has been fortunate to travel by road and air (and become isolated) in some of the most beautiful Aboriginal communities, homelands, towns and places in the NT thanks to her employment. She previously worked as a project officer in sectors of health & community service, employment, education & training, and the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. 

PhD Project Title

How does the land administration system (including land legislation, plans, regulations and policy) affect development and informed decision about development on Aboriginal land in NT remote areas? 

Research Interests

  • The Federal Government White Paper and Developing Northern Australia that include Aboriginal people in development (as equal partners and decision-makers)
  • Development (economic, cultural & environmental) of Aboriginal land from a professional planning approach for Indigenous involvement in planning
  • Aboriginal culture and Indigenous issues 
  • Demography of towns and their people
  • Regional and remote Northern Territory
  • The Federal Government White Paper and Developing Northern Australia that include Aboriginal people in development as equal partners and decision-makers
  • Indigenous self-determination and politics
  • Aboriginal Land & Cultural Rights

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Publications & Resources

Journal Articles

Bird, D., Govan, J., Harwood, S., & Haynes, K. (2014). Children's perceptions and adaptive behaviours in response to seasonal change and extreme weather in Broome, Western Australia. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 29(1),39-44.

Conferences Proceedings & Papers

Bird, D., & Govan, J.  (2013). Future change in ancient worlds: The importance of land and sea as cultural identity in Indigenous Australia. NCCARF Climate Adaptation Knowledge + Partnerships Conference, Sydney NSW. Presentation available from Working together with Indigenous communities to adapt to climate change.

Research Reports

Bird, D., Govan, J., Murphy, H., Harwood, S., Haynes, K., Carson, D., Russell, S., King, D., Wensing, E., Tsakissiris, S., & Larkin, S. (2013). Future change in ancient worlds: Indigenous adaptation in northern Australia. Gold Coast, QLD: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

Jeanie Govan


T: c/- +61 8 8946 7468

Darwin, NT