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Indigenous land and sea management in North Australia – The Culture-Based economy as a framework for sustainability

Armstrong, Rachel Julia (2010) Indigenous land and sea management in North Australia – The Culture-Based economy as a framework for sustainability. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Sustainability in north Australia is intimately connected with the future of Indigenous peoples and their lands. However, the current context on Indigenous lands more frequently features political marginalisation, welfare economies and poor health and well-being, which detract from sustainability. This thesis engages with the political and practical context for creating sustainable futures in north Australia through recognition of the current and potential value of Indigenous land and sea management. It also explores the potential to create sustainable economies based on this recognition. It analyses Commonwealth policy and discourse between 2005 and 2007 and juxtaposes this with parallel discourses that are more supportive of Indigenous settlement on country. The thesis presents the culture-based economy framework, which has evolved collaboratively throughout the research and connects it to sustainability and the national interest. Although this framework does not use the term culture in a strictly academic sense, when compared to academic discourse on culture and development, some core insights emerge. They make clear that to take culture seriously in development is to recognise the rights of people to determine their own development futures and that power and agency, dialogue and deliberation are central to sustainable development. In concluding, an argument is created whereby recognising the value of Indigenous land and sea management implies transition towards policy and practice that supports Indigenous country management and settlement on traditional lands.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): UNSPECIFIED
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