Dr Sarah Holcombe

PhD

University Fellow

As a social anthropologist Sarah Holcombe been engaged in research in relation to Indigenous Australians for over 20 years. She has a diverse research background in remote Aboriginal Australia, which includes applied anthropology with Northern Territory Land Councils and research management as the Social Science Coordinator for the Desert Knowledge CRC.

Based principally the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at the ANU, she has undertaken research on the social sustainability of mining in Indigenous communities; alternative economies; Indigenous community governance; integrity systems in research with Indigenous peoples and gender violence. Her research is increasingly focusing on legal and political anthropology.  She has recently completed an ARC Future Fellowship entitled: “Global Indigenous Rights and Local Effect in Central Australia: Tracing Relations of Power and Locating Potentialities”.

The book from this project is in press: Human Rights in Aboriginal Central Australia: Politics, Power and Personhood. Stanford University Press, Studies in Human Rights Series. 

Research Interests

Publication Research themes: Indigenous Australia

  • Human rights and intersectional challenges to implementation
  • Extractive industries and sustainable development
  • Social exclusion, marginality and post-coloniality 
  • Gender violence, critical criminology and transformative justice
  • Aboriginal community governance and service delivery in remote settlements
  • Ethical governance of Intellectual Property and collaborative knowledges

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Publications & Resources

Book

  • (In press) Holcombe, S. 2017. Human Rights in Aboriginal Central Australia: Politics, Power and Personhood.  Stanford University Press, Studies in Human Rights Series. 

Special Edition Journals

  • Holcombe, S. and Davis, M. [eds]. 2010. “Contemporary Ethical Issues in Research with Australian Indigenous peoples”, Journal of Australian Aboriginal Studies, special edition 2010/Number 2. AIATSIS, Canberra. 
  • Davies J. and Holcombe, S. [eds] 2009. Desert Knowledge: Integrating Knowledge and Development in arid and semi-arid drylands. Geojournal 74 (5): DOI 10. 1007/s10708-009-92794-4. Published online 21 March 2009.  http://www.springerlink.com/content/169gw863461v8439/fulltext.pdf

Refereed Journal Articles

2016

  • Holcombe, S. “Human Rights, Colonial Criminality and the Death in Custody of Kwementyaye Briscoe: A central Australian case study”. The Political and Legal Anthropology Review (POLAR, published by the AAA).

2015

  • “The Revealing Processes of Interpretation: Translating Human Rights Principles into Pintupi-Luritja”. In [eds] I. Keen and B. Blakeman (Special Edition) Anthropology and Morality, The Australian Journal of Anthropology. Pp 428-441.  

2014 

2012

  • Ens, E.J, Finlayson, M. Preuss, K. Jackson, S and Holcombe, S.’ Australian approaches for managing ‘country’ using Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge’. Synthesis article, Ecological Management and Restoration, Vol 13, No 1.  Pp 100-107.

2011

  • R.R.J. McAllister, S. Holcombe, J. Davies, J. Cleary , A. Boyle P. Tremblay, D.M. Stafford Smith, D. Rockstroh, M. Laflamme, M.F. Rola-Rubzen 2010. "Desert networks: a conceptual model for the impact of scarce, variable and patchy resources". In the Journal of Ecology and Society.  Pp 164-173.
  • Holcombe, S, Yates, P and Walsh, J. “Reinforcing Alternative Economies: Self motivated work by Central Anmatyerr people to sell Katyerr (Desert Raisin, Bush Tomato) in central Australia”. Rangeland Journal, 33. CSIRO.  Pp. 255-265.

2010

  • Ingamells, A. Holcombe, S. and Buultjens, J. “Economic Development and Remote Desert Settlements”. Community Development Journal, Oxford University Press, UK.  doi: 10.1093/cdj/bsq012.
  • Sanders, W. and Holcombe, S. “The Role of Local Government in Desert Settlement Sustainability: A View from Anmatjere”. In [eds] K. Seemann and J. Buultjens Sustainable Desert Settlements special edition of the Journal of Economic and Social Policy (JESP). Pp 81-108.
  • Holcombe, S. “The Arrogance of Ethnography: Managing Anthropological Research Knowledge”. In [eds] S. Holcombe and M. Davis, “Contemporary Ethical Issues in Research with Australian Indigenous peoples”, Journal of Australian Aboriginal Studies, special edition 2010/Number 2”.  AIATSIS, Canberra. Pp 22-32.
  • Holcombe, S and Davis, M. “Whose Research and whose Ethics?” In [eds] S. Holcombe and M. Davis, “Contemporary Ethical Issues in Research with Australian Indigenous peoples”, Journal of Australian Aboriginal Studies, special edition” 2010/Number 2.  AIATSIS, Canberra. Pp1-9.
  • Holcombe, S. and Gould, N. “Literature Review of Australia wide ethics resources to manage Indigenous knowledge”. In [eds] S. Holcombe and M. Davis, “Contemporary Ethical Issues in Research with Australian Indigenous peoples”, Journal of Australian Aboriginal Studies, special edition” 2010/Number 2.  AIATSIS, Canberra. Pp107-127.

2009

  • Davies, J. and Holcombe, S. “Desert Knowledge: Integrating knowledge and development in arid and semi-arid drylands". Chapter 1. Desert Knowledge Special Edition of Geojournal, Vol 74(5), 363-375.

2008

  • Sanders, W and Holcombe, S. “Sustainable Governance for Small Desert Settlements: Combining Single Settlement Localism and Multi-Settlement Regionalism”. In the Rangelands Journal Special Issue: Desert Knowledge, Volume 30/1. Pp 137-147.

2007

  • Holcombe, S. and Sanders, W. “Accommodating Difference?: The Socio-Politics of an Aboriginal Fringe camp in a Small North Australian Town”. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Science. Vol 2, Number 2. Pp. 339-348.
  • Sanders, W and Holcombe, S. “The Ti Tree Creek Camp study: A Contribution to Good Governance?” Ngiya Talk the law: Governance in Indigenous Communities. Vol 1. Pp 72-92.

2005

  • Holcombe, S. “Luritja management of the State”. In [eds] M. Hinkson and B. Smith. Figuring the Intercultural in Aboriginal Australia Special Edition, Oceania Vol 75, No 3, Pp 222-233.
    • Holcombe, S. “Indigenous Organisations and miners in the Pilbara, Western Australia: Lessons from a Historical Perspective”. Aboriginal History, Vol 29, pp 107-135.

2004

  • Holcombe, S. “The Politico-Historical Construction of the Pintupi Luritja and the Concept of Tribe”. Oceania Vol 74, No4. pp 257-275.
  • Holcombe, S. “Traditional Owners and 'community-country' anangu: Distinctions and dilemmas”. Australian Aboriginal Studies 2004/2. pp 64-71.
  • Holcombe, S. “The Sentimental Community: A Site of Belonging. A Case Study from Central Australia”. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 15:2. pp 163-184.

1997

  • Holcombe, S. “Ritual and the Central Australian Gender Debate. In Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (jigs). Vol 2, No2, November. Pp 25-41.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

2017

  • (in press) Holcombe, S. “Eclipsing Rights; Property Rights as Indigenous Human Rights in Australia”. In [eds] Hernandez-Castillo, A. and Hutchings, S. Alliances of, with, as Indigenous Peoples: The Obligations and Actions of Anthropologies and Anthropologists in the Middle. Palgrave, Global Outreach Series.

2016 

  • Holcombe, S. “The Interwoven Histories of Mt Liebig and Papunya Luritja” Chapter 6 in [eds] N. Peterson and F. Myers Outstations in the History of self-determination.  ANU Press. Pp 105-120.

2015

  • Holcombe, S. “Anthropology, Confidentiality, and the Digital Economy”. Chapter 17 in M. Rimmer [ed] Indigenous Intellectual Property: A Handbook of Contemporary Research. Edward Elgar.  Pp 417-436.
  • Holcombe, S. “The Ontologies and Ecologies of hardship: Past and Future Governance in the central Australian Arid zone” Chapter 9. In J.P Marshall and L.H Connor [eds] The World and its Futures: Ecologies, Ontologies, Mythologies. Routledge. Pp145-160.

 2013

  • Martin, D. Trigger, D. Burke, P. Memmott, P. Holcombe, S. Veth, P. Winn, P, N. Peterson and Palmer, K. “Forensic Social Anthropology” Chapter 36 in Expert Evidence. Thomson Reuters.  

2012

  • Holcombe, S. and Janke, T. “Patenting the Kakadu Plum and the Marjarla Tree: Biodiscovery, Intellectual Property and Indigenous Knowledge”. Chapter 11 in Intellectual Property and Emerging Technologies in the Life Sciences [eds] Rimmer, M and McLennan A. Edward Elgar Publishing. Pp 293-319.
  • Holcombe, S and Sullivan, P. “Indigenous Australian Organisations”. Chapter 24, Pp 493-518. In [eds] D. Caulkins and A. Jordan. A Companion to Organisational Anthropology, Wiley Blackwell. Pp 493-518.   

2010

  • Holcombe, S. “Sustainable Aboriginal Livelihoods and the Pilbara Mining Boom” in I. Keen [ed] Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives. ANU E-press monograph, Canberra. Pp 141-164.

2009

  • Holcombe, S. “Indigenous Entrepreneurialism in the Context of Mining Land Use Agreements”. In [ed] J.C. Altman and D. Martin. Culture, Power and Economy: Indigenous Australians and mining. CAEPR Research Monograph 30. ANU E. press. Pp. 149-170.  http://epress.anu.edu.au/caepr_series/no_30/pdf/ch07.pdf

2008

  • Holcombe, S. “Constraints on Researchers Acting as Change Agents”. Chapter 3. In J. Hunt, D, Smith. S. Garling and W. Sanders [eds] Contested Governance: Culture, Power and Institution in Indigenous Australia. CAEPR monograph 20. ANU E. Press. Pp. 55-71. http://epress.anu.edu.au/caepr_series/no_29/pdf/ch03.pdf

2006

  • Holcombe, S. “'Community Benefit Packages': Development's Encounter   with pluralism in the case of the mining industry", Chapter 5. In [eds] T. Lea, E. Kowal and G. Cowlishaw, Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies, Charles Darwin University Press. Pp 79-94.
  • Holcombe, S. “Indigenous Australians and Transport—What can the NATSSIS tell us?” Chapter 15. In B.H. Hunter [ed], Assessing the Evidence on Indigenous Socioeconomic Outcomes: A focus on the 2002 NATSISS, CAEPR Monograph No. 26, ANU E Press, ANU, Canberra. Pp 183-196. http://epress.anu.edu.au/caepr_series/no_26/pdf/ch15.pdf

Book Reviews

  • (in press) 2015. (Invited Review of) Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States by Audra Simpson. In PoLAR (Political and Legal Anthropology Review)
  • Holcombe, S. 2013. Review “First World, First Nations: Internal Colonialism and Indigenous Self-determination in Northern Europe and Australia”. In The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology. Vol 13, No4.
  • Holcombe, S. 2010. ‘Bureaucrats and Bleeding Hearts: Indigenous health in Northern Australia’ by Tess Tea in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 16. 
  • Holcombe, S. 2006. Book Review: “A World of Relationships: Itineraries, Dreams and Events in the Australian Western Desert”, By Sylvie Poirier in Oceania, Vol 76, No. 3, pp 321-322.
  • Holcombe, S. 2006. Book Review. “First Contact: Leaving the Western Desert”, By Sue Davenport, Peter Johnson and Yuwali. In Australian Journal of Political Science.

Non-Traditional Academic Publishing

  • Holcombe S. 2015.Autonomy through Mining Wealth or Mendicant to Government: The operations of the Neo-Liberal State in Cultural Anthropology Hot Spots Resource Frontiers in Western Australia [eds] Melissa F. Baird and Jane Lydon http://www.culanth.org/fieldsights/769-autonomy-through-mining-wealth-or-government-dependency-operations-of-the-neoliberal-state

Columns in the American Anthropological Association (AAA) Anthropology News

  • S. Holcombe. 2015 “Rendering Visible the Tacit: Translating the UDHR in Remote Central Australia” in Committee for Human Rights Column, Anthropology News, May/June
  • Noble, B. and Holcombe, S. 2015.Alliances of, with, as Indigenous Peoples: The Obligations and Actions of Anthropologies and Anthropologists in the Middle” in the Committee of World Anthropologies Column,  July/August

Web-Based Papers and Podcasts (select)

2015

2010

2009

2007

Consultancies and/or Commissioned Resources (select)

2009/2010

  • CSIRO project, Holcombe, S. and Janke, T.  for the development of an “Indigenous Intellectual Property Protocol” (internal CSIRO resource) and associated policy resources.
  • CSIRO project. Davis, M, Veth, P and Holcombe, S. “Audit of Information and materials relevant to Indigenous peoples, their knowledge systems and genetic stock”. (internal CSIRO resource).

2009

  • Holcombe, S, Veth, P. and Pitkin, C. “Ethical Considerations for research projects involving Indigenous People”. Internal CSIRO resource.
  • Holcombe, S. Veth, P. and Pitkin, C. “Checklist for ethical research practise with Indigenous Peoples”. Internal CSIRO resource.

2008/2009

  • $100,000 project tender for Natural Resource Management Board of the NT. With P. Veth, T. Janke and M. Davis to develop 3 resources under the Program Brief 2: Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) Protocols for IEK Management. Holcombe managed the project and authored 1 resource (Guidelines) – above.
  • Holcombe, S.  3 case studies of best practice research with Australian Indigenous peoples for CSIRO – internal resource.

2008

2004

  • Northern land Council, Liyadhalinymirrr and Djambarrpuyngu Ethnographic Mapping Project, including genealogies. With Stephen Bennetts.

2003

  • Central land Council, Traditional Owner Identification for EL(A)s on the Haasts Bluff land Trust. 

1998

  • Miriuwung-Gagerrong (MG) Corporation: Ord River site surveys, various. With Kim Barber.
  • Miriuwung-Gagerrong (MG) Corporation: Bow River Diamond mine, mine extension heritage clearances. With Kim Barber.

1997

  • Kimberley Land Council, Butchers Creek EL(A)s site mapping and Traditional Owner Identification.
  • Kimberley Land Council, Derby Tidal Power Proposal: Traditional Owner Consultations and site mapping. With Kim Barber.    

1996

  • Hercus, L. Jones, P, Holcombe, S and Sutton, P. Simpson Desert (Wangkangurru) Land Claim. Central Land Council, Alice Springs. Unpublished report.

Unpublished Reports, Unrefereed Articles, Monographs (select)

2015

2014

  • Willis, M and Holcombe, S. “Evaluation of the Cross Borders Indigenous Family Violence Program”.  Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Government.   

2010

2008

  • DISCUSSION PAPER: Building Sustainable Policy for Indigenous Affairs in Australia. ANU Centre for Dialogue Inaugural Event: Building Sustainable Policy for Indigenous Affairs in Australia.

2006

  • Sanders, W and Holcombe, S. Third Report to the Anmatjere Community Government Council on Ti Tree Creek camp.
  • Sanders, W and Holcombe, S. Second Report to the Anmatjere Community Government Council on Ti Tree Creek camp.

2005

  • Holcombe, S. and Sanders, W. Report to the Anmatjere Community Government Council on Ti Tree Creek camp.
  • Holcombe, S. and Sanders, W. 'Anmatjere: Representation in an early regional structure'. ICGP Occasional Paper No. 5.

2002

  • Holcombe, S and Scambary, B. Roper River Beds and Banks Anthropologists Report.  Northern Land Council, Darwin. Unpublished report.

2000

  • Stead, J, Graham, R, Holcombe, S and Wells, S.  Urapunga Station Anthropologists and historical report. Northern Land Council, Darwin. Unpublished report

1998

  • Holcombe, S. Amunturrgu; an Emergent Community in central Australia. Unpublished PhD thesis. University of Newcastle, NSW. 

Submissions to Government

2015

  • Holcombe, S. “Submission to the Review of the NT Domestic and Family Violence Act (2007)”. June NT Attorney Generals.

2009

Media Coverage

Professional Positions, Memberships & Awards

Memberships

  • Member (research) AIATSIS Research Ethics Committee, 2012 – 2016.
  • Elected to the Executive of the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS), 2010- 2013.
  • Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
  • Member of the Australian Anthropological Society
  • Member of the American Anthropological Association

Awards

  • Amnesty International Australia “Human Rights Innovation Fund”. Grant to finalise translation of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights into Aboriginal language Pintupi-Luritja, 2014.
  • Awarded 4 Year Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship, 2011 (taken up 2012-2016).
  • ‘Excellence in Innovation for Public Outreach’ Award, by Cooperative Research Centre’s (CRCs) from the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Desert Knowledge CRC: Community Guide to the DK CRC Aboriginal Knowledge and intellectual Property Protocol, 2010.
Dr Sarah Holcombe

Contacts

E: Sarah.holcombe@anu.edu.au

Australian National University - Visiting Fellow

The University of Queensland – Senior Research Fellow in the Sustainable Minerals Institute

Researchgate