Dr Jennifer Macdonald

B. Sc (Hons) – Human Geography

CDU-CSIRO Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Jennifer is a Research Associate with the Northern Institute. She is also completing her PhD with the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods. She is enjoying crossing the lawn and feels very privileged to be working in both of these excellent CDU research institutes.

Her work at the Northern Institute involves working from the ‘Ground Up’ with Indigenous knowledge authorities. This involves collaborative research for policy development, engaging with Indigenous people, government and service providers. The current project is focused on remote government engagement and coordination and she is working specifically with local Indigenous researchers in Ngukurr.

Her doctoral study is investigating local monitoring and evaluation tools to measure ‘success’ in Indigenous land and sea management, in both the APY Lands in SA and in Ngukurr in the NT.

Research Interests

  • Indigenous land and sea management strategies and country-based planning
  • Environmental politics and decision making practices
  • Contemporary practices of knowledge and governance
  • Livelihood aspirations of people in remote Australian communities
  • Indigenous research development
  • ‘Ground Up’ and good faith research practices
  • Human geography

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Research Projects

Current Projects

  • Remote Engagement Coordination - Indigenous Evaluation Research (Research Associate, 2016-2017): Collaborative development of evaluation enabling people in remote Aboriginal communities to provide feedback on government engagement practices. 

Publications & Resources

Journal Articles

  • Austin, B.J., C.J. Robinson, J. Fitzsimons, M. Sandford, F. McDonald; D. Hinchley, E. Ens, J.M. Macdonald, C. Corrigan, M. Hocking, R. Kennett, H. Hunter-Xenie, S.T. Garnett (submitted). Integrated Measures of Indigenous Land and Sea Management Effectiveness: Challenge and Opportunity for Improved Conservation Partnerships. Conservation and Society.

Conference Papers / Presentations

  • Macdonald, J.M. (2016) Who decides? Success in Indigenous land and sea management. Presentation to the Society for Conservation Biology 4th Oceania (SCBO) Conference, as part of the Re-imagining the Indigenous-conservation alliance symposium. Brisbane 6-8 July 2016.
  • Macdonald, J.M. (2015) Talking monitoring and evaluation in Indigenous land and sea management in Ngukurr, Arnhem Land and the APY Lands, South Australia. Presentation to the Looking After Country Right Workshop, Mary River, NT Australia. 1-3 September 2015.
  • Ponto, P., Daniels, C., Daniels, K., Macdonald, J.M. with the Yugul Mangi Rangers (2015) How Yugul Mangi Rangers are Monitoring their Land and Sea Management. Presentation to the Looking After Country Right Workshop. Mary River, NT, 1-3 September 2015.

Professional Positions, Memberships & Awards


  • Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG)


  • Australian Postgraduate Award, Charles Darwin University
  • Dwight’s Assessment Prize for the highest ranked student in Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geography, University of Melbourne
Jennifer Macdonald


T: (08) 8946 7334
E: jennifermairi.macdonald@cdu.edu.au

Darwin, NT