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Northern Institute

Research centres and groups

researchers jen and paul sit on beach and look out onto sunset

Central Australian Research Group

The Central Australian Research Group (CARG) undertakes interdisciplinary research in social and public policy areas in regional and remote contexts that are critically important to central Australia and its neighbours.

CARG is recognised for its local partnerships, knowledge, and expertise adapted to the region's profile. It is a hub for postgraduate student research and forms multi-disciplinary teams to conduct research and evaluation.

CARG draws on outside expertise, enabling consolidation and facilitation of research in Central Australia. With a range of long-term researchers based in Central Australia, they research future development, local adaptation and building local capacity to the changing environmental, economic, social and policy conditions in Central Australia.

Centre for Creative Futures

The Centre for Creative Futures was established with the belief that collaboration and creativity are essential for cultures of survival, renewal, and resilience in a climate-changed future.

Reaching across disciplines, communities, and cultures, CCF brings together the arts, social sciences, humanities, and sciences to produce research that is accessible, meaningful, and impactful for the people, places, and futures of North Australia and beyond.

At CCF, we recognise that the work of making knowledge on these lands has never been condensed to publishing in books or other written genres and that these traditions remain vital and innovative. Inspired by these expressive co-creative traditions and under the guidance of First Nations authorities, CCF researchers employ a range of performative, artistic, and multimodal practices with a future-focused commitment to renewing worlds together.

First Nations Sovereignty  and Diplomacy Centre

First Nations Sovereignty and Diplomacy Centre (FNSDC) is a unique 'dual academy' led, operated and guided by Indigenous elders in collaboration with non-Indigenous academics within the College of Indigenous Futures, Education & the Arts. FNDC's primary focus is to extend and nurture the network of First Nations sovereign groups in Australian First Nations training, education and research. 

A long history of connection and partnership between Yolŋu scholars and CDU academics and researchers is the foundation of the Centre. Recognised by Indigenous communities across NT and beyond, FNSDC provides a culturally comfortable space for First Nation Authorities and teachers to share knowledge and contribute to research projects, teaching-learning programs and language-related research work. These authorities offer cultural expertise and value to courses like the Indigenous Cultural Diplomacy program (Kaurareg Nation, Nambri Ngunnawal Nation and Yawuru Nation) and First Nations language programs (Yolŋu, Bininj, Murrinh and Arrernte).

This work is vital in changing non-Indigenous ways of thinking, and promoting consultative and collaborative research and teaching practices so that First Nations Rom (Culture, Law, System, Values) can be adequately understood.

Indigenous Enterprise Hub (The Hub)

Decades of research in partnership with Aboriginal organisations has developed a deep understanding of Indigenous leadership and governance, education, and the use of technology, in addition to workforce development and analysis.

The human and physical resources of the Indigenous Enterprise Hub (The Hub) identify the best approaches to support innovation and sustainability by building high-level knowledge and skills that support workforce development and sustainability, develop frameworks to promote best practices in mentoring and leadership through technology and resources designed specifically for regional, highly mobile and indigenous workforces, and educates on the job with integrated enterprise based learning frameworks. 

The Hub partners with Aboriginal organisations in remote and urban areas of northern Australia to provide the basis for creating organisational development and sustainable models for Indigenous enterprises based on socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable livelihoods. 

The Hub works with organisations and their members to develop, build, and lead organisational capacity by mentoring and translating existing place-specific research and materials to support various regional organisations in growing and becoming sustainable.

Landscape Knowledge Visualisation Lab

Decades of research have shown that we learn through multiple pathways of interaction. The Landscape Knowledge Visuation Lab develops high-resolution 3D printed tiles to create all-terrain landscapes that display projected spatial data, landscape process animations, and simulations. Simple, Robust and Scalable technology that is both multidimensional and multisensory. Learn more about this innovative technology and its many applications, including bushfire management, climate change simulations and mine site restoration. 

Top End Language Lab

The Top End Language Lab is designing innovative methods for learning, processing, and revitalising oral languages.

The group brings together strengths in computational linguistics, language revitalisation, and web technologies.

We work with oral language and culture, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. We focus on Northern Australia, a region of great linguistic diversity.

Top End Science, Technology and Society (Top End STS)

TopEndSTS is a group of researchers associated with the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS).

Their research spans many contemporary issues and concerns within collective northern Australian life. It engages disparate climatic environments, complex interplays of connection and 'remoteness', and the co-presence of many differing Western and Indigenous modes of people-place making.

Research themes

Regional leader in high quality social and public policy research
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