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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 areas of social and public policy in regional and remote contexts that are critically important to central Australia and its near neighbours.

CARG is recognised for their local partnerships, knowledge and expertise adapted for the region's profile and is a hub for postgraduate student research and forms multi-disciplinary teams to carry out 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 contained 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’ lead, 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 come together to share knowledge and contribute to research projects, teaching-learning programs and language-related research work. These authorities provide 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 understood properly.

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) identifies the best approaches to support innovation and sustainability by building high level knowledge and skills that support workforce development and sustainability, develops frameworks to promote best practice in mentoring and leadership through technology and resources developed 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 of creating organisational development and sustainable models for Indigenous enterprises that are based on socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable livelihoods. 

The Hub works with organisations and their members to develop, build and lead organisational capacity through mentoring and translation of existing place-specific research and materials that will support a variety of organisations in the region to grow and become sustainable.

Landscape Knowledge Visualisation Lab

Decades of research has 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 over which projected spatial data, landscape process animations and simulations are displayed. Simple, Robust and Scalable technology that is both multidimensional and multisensory.  Learn more about this innovative technologies 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, and 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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