Aboriginal knowledge and governance

We engage Aboriginal knowledge and governance authorities through a commitment to Aboriginal sovereignty in Australia.

We take seriously Aboriginal commitments to people-places: to people not being ontologically distinct from their places (as in Western metaphysics), to reality as emergent, to knowledge and authority as always owned, governed and located, and to the growing up of new generations in the modern world connected to ancestral law, knowledge and discipline. 

The complexities of research with government and nongovernment organisations has led us to differentiate three distinct – but sometimes overlapping – Aboriginal knowledge workers on country:  

  • the elders – knowledge and governance authorities – who supervise and lead the local knowledge work, 
  • the local researchers who often work between the elders, the government workers and the GroundUp researchers, and the emergent researchers 
  • the mentorees – who act as learners and observers of traditional knowledge and governance work, as well as assistants to their elders.   

GroundUp commitment to supporting and developing these critically significant roles is supported through the Indigenous Researchers’ Initiative. [link to]

Government and non-government organisations

GroundUp research is generally funded by government and nongovernment organisations seeking collaboratively designed practices of engagement with Aboriginal peoples and their communities.  Government and NonGovernment Organisations engage GroundUp researchers because GOs and NGOs they are committed to improving their policies and practices through deep understandings and support of the Aboriginal groups and individuals and their places – whom they serve. 

In recent years we have worked with:

  • NTG Dept of Local Government, Housing and Community Development
  • NTG Dept of Chief Minister
  • Australian Red Cross
  • NT Emergency Services
  • Northern Land Council
  • Australian Electoral Commission

Some of the outcomes of work with these organsiations are displayed in Methods [LINK] and Projects and reports [LINK]

Academic contributions