Clint Hansen

Clint Hansen is a Yiman man, currently a PhD candidate and Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow (Chemical and Environmental Engineering) at RMIT. His research is looking at the relationship between Iman peoples and the extractive Industries who operate on stolen land heavily populated by Coal Seam Gas Wells and associated infrastructure.

About Clint Hansen

Clint Hansen is a Yiman man, currently a PhD candidate and Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow (Chemical and Environmental Engineering) at RMIT. His research is looking at the relationship between Iman peoples and the extractive Industries who operate on stolen land heavily populated by Coal Seam Gas Wells and associated infrastructure. Previous Honours research includes analysing appropriate solutions of clean water for remote communities in Western Australia whose water supply is rich in contaminants of Nitrate and Uranium.


On Informit

Currell, M., Hansen, C., Nicholson, R., Esmond, M., & Dooley, K. (2022). Designing a monitoring program and conceptual models to protect ecological and cultural values of waterways vulnerable to coal seam gas impacts. Hydrology & Water Resources Symposium 2022 (HWRS 2022): The Past, the Present, the Future. Engineers Australia.

Video Transcript

0.17        Can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your education and career background?

So my name’s Clint Hansen. I’m an Iman man, Iman Countryman, so if you  don’t know where Iman country is, that’s Central  Queensland. I was born and raised on Darumbal Country in Rockhampton. The reason I was born  on Darumbal Country in Rockhampton is due to forced removal of Iman people off of our Country  after some massacres that happened. We were rounded  up at Taroom Aboriginal Reserve in Taroom on  Country with a bunch of other mobs right up from Batdjala country in the East  where Kgari Island is, Cape York in the North, and South as well as far as Kamilaroi  Country. So from there most of my family went to Woorabinda, from Woorabinda that you got Rocky  inland, uh east of that at the coast – that’s where I grew up and spent most of my life.  Um, the Wardingarri river, the Dawson River is on Iman country, so I have connections to that. It  confluences with the MacKenzie River and it’s the Tanuba river known as the Dawson River to  the whitefellas, which is Durambal Country where I grew up and that heads out into  Woppaburra Sea Country, so all of that Country is connected by those waterways there and I’m  connected to those different waterways, both fresh water and sea water, salt water. And have  yeah, ties to that land. Uh after that a bit more about myself: I left school early at 15 to do an  apprenticeship as a fitter machinist. I didn’t really like school too much, as much  as some of the teachers, and English teachers in particular, wanted me to continue on to year 12.  Um moving to Meanjin Brisbane after I finished my trade, I think it was 22. I did really enjoyed my  trade – I like that, liked the hands-on work. Um move to Meanjin for about a year to two years,  realized through my trade that I was doing a lot of engineer work on a minimum wage as a  trade. Like Engineers would come to me and get me to design stuff for them like on lays and mills…  I started looking around and thought I need to go back to university and thought… well, not back to  university – go back to school and education per se and I thought how am I going to do  this? You know I left school at 15, I don’t have an ATAR or an OP or anything like that.  And I looked up all the different universities, some  in Meanjin Brisbane, some down here and RMIT  had vocational education bridging into higher ed. So I did a two-year vocational education Advanced  Diploma Mechanical Engineering and if you get a certain grade point average out of four, three  out of four and above, you can take a year and a half off the same field and topic in the Bachelor.  So I did that um and then this leads me into talking a little bit about  changing topics from mechanical engineering into my undergrad, which was sustainable systems  engineering. So the reason changing, I went back… I’m not sure if you know much about Native Title  or Prescribed Body Corporates, but the Iman Native  Title – we won Native Title in 2016 in Federal Court  on Country, which was a beautiful celebration and recognition of our connection to Country  and that as our land and Country. And part of the meetings growing up going to the Native Title but  then, even recently as recent as four or five years  ago when I was studying down here doing mechanical  engineering, I was going to these meetings back home in Rockhampton – the PBCs and proponents and  representatives from different gas companies and conglomerates would sort of give presentations to  our community about what was happening on our Country – some of that was petroleum industry, so  gas wells, rather than just … like Central Queensland if you don’t know is heavily  densely populated by the extractive industry, both coal and petroleum, but gas you’d say. So I  was attending this meeting and this guy’s talking  about Coal Seam Gas wells and gas wells in particular  and my mother raised the question, I said, what what happens to them once they’re decommissioned,  once you’ve depleted all the gas from the Coal Seam  Gas wells underground? And their response was very  rude, ignorant and dismissive of a sovereign matriarchal Elder of Iman people in that  particular time at that meeting when they were supposed to be engaging appropriately with us  about what was happening on our Country. And that really upset me and it made me realize that I  particularly wanted to change my discipline and not focus on mechanical engineering – I’d  done that for close to 12 years after leaving school at 15 and doing my trade  and I wanted to focus on more the sustainability lens and what it meant for Country and you know  conservation and Land Management type sort of things. And I’d picked, I’d studied at RMIT in my  undergrad and there’s a place, an Indigenous education unit called in Ngara Wilam Centre  which is a safe space and inclusive space for Indigenous students at RMIT, so I met lots of great  friends there – it was a community to go and study,  there was computers and such there, still is now.  It’s a great place, I still have connections to that  place. And I picked up a program booklet during  mid-semester break and was scrolling through it like oh what what other degrees or you know study  fields aligned to my moral and ethical compass that I can give back to my community while I’m  away from Community getting a higher degree. And I come across sustainable systems engineering I  was very like, wow, what is this. I haven’t heard of this as an engineering field before, you know.  Um, from this I started studying sustainable systems engineering, got some credits from  mechanical engineering, changed into that field. I greatly enjoyed it – that was life  cycle assessment, materials analysis, sustainable  systems design, remote area power supply – all these  type sorts of things, besides you know the coding classes and other things you have to do as well.  So it’s kind of like a melting pot of different disciplines focused on that sustainability lens.  Um you know and different archetypical behaviors that exist within society and the  world that you know can help inform systems change which is what you know I’m currently  about through my research is that systematic change.

6.15        Can you talk about your Honours project?

So from that I did an Honours degree that that is that my capstone year project I  met a Professor Matthew Carrell who’s now my PhD supervisor. I met him through I think  it was the second year I mentored the Victoria… as part of the Victorian  Indigenous engineering winter school which  is a partnership between Melbourne Uni, RMIT, Monash  and Swinburne where Indigenous students from around the country aged 15 to 17  come down here to Narrm Melbourne to check out the universities and different engineering practices  and I met my current supervisor at this. He was I think the sort of reconciliation advisor  within the School of Engineering at RMIT and he was involved with this particular views Camp.  Um and we got we got along. I’d done I think an MC talk as part of David Unaipon’s  um you know engineering for RMIT it started to build a pretty healthy relationship up with  this supervisor and blackfella way – like sussed him out like – is he trustworthy and things like  this outside of even the academy, and is he good for Country and stuff like this… Yes great good  relationship, good working relationship and even good personal relationship now. And um he’s  a hydrogeologist so that means underground water science right very passionate about that, does a  lot of stuff around the country with Wangan and  Jagalingou mob up there with the Doongmabulla Springs  complex with Adani and such and such like that and down here in Victoria and around the way.  And he suggested to me and reached out before my Honours year if I wanted to do a  project focusing on clean drinking water for a remote community in the goldfields region  in Western Australia, so it was a very remote community eight hours drive north east of  Calgary I think it’s got a small plane strip that hardly can get the plane there anyway and I was  working with my supervisor on my Honours project and a doctor, a pediatrician I believe it’s called  who’d synthesized the link between nitrate and uranium in bore water that was drinking water  for community and infant mortality rates and blue baby syndrome and chronic kidney disease in this  community and my supervisor approached me say hey do you want to be involved with this pilot program  working with University Queensland, RMIT, the doctor, the senior Lawman of the community and this  external company who does clean water projects so we designed a pilot project with three different  technologies to clean the groundwater – reverse osmosis ion exchange and solar distillation  and piloted that project so as was in the shipping container, like tested it here in Melbourne…  Um and that was not only about technology right – for the community it’s not just people that aren’t  from that community coming in and being like here’s a quick fix to this really intense problem  about your, you know, poor quality drinking water in  Western Australia. And I in this project there was two  other students with me and my Honours – one looked at tech, and the other looked at appropriate  tech and ways to clean the water, and I was really interested in the community governance and policy  and like the social aspect of that. Even though I’ve done my engineering degree and… I was like, I  looked at the Ombudsman report and how terrible that was in relation to all the communities and  remote Indigenous communities in WA who’d suffered from poor clean drinking poor drinking water that  wasn’t to of the Australian drinking water guidelines standard as a basic human right.  And then I realized through that study and the literature review of of that sort of topic area  that a lot of.. around the same time this ombudsman  report come out was the same time I think the  Abbott government was wanting to close down a lot of remote communities because they wouldn’t they  didn’t want to deal with the issue of supplying clean water right and I also found out some of  the extractive industry in that area from the gold mining were supposed to be servicing the  wells and the way to clean the water and there was like overdosing of chlorine in the system, things  like this that wasn’t appropriate. So through that  Honours year I got heavily involved in that sort of  research, more that social science-based research and humanitarian type sort of research. I wouldn’t  even call it humanitarian, just like um I guess um trying to make aware of the nuances and of  that situation and the injustices of of that from an engineering and Indigenous standpoint.

12.27     So, from not finishing high school, you are now in your 3rd year of a PhD! What is your PhD project about?

Yeah, so my PhD project and position at RMIT – I’m a Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Research Fellow, a  PhD candidate which is a four-year timeline of limited teaching duties, some professional  activities and research to obtain a PhD. So my  PhD project is about the coal seam gas industry and  more particularly the extractive industry as a whole  operating on Sovereign Indigenous land in Central  Queensland, both my Country, Iman Country in Central  Queensland and the surrounding areas focusing on  both the surface water and the groundwater, the cultural values of each of those and how the  extractive industry may impact on the you know livelihoods of Indigenous peoples of those area  and both the totemic species that identify Country and kin of that area and the unique biodiversity  and ecosystems – the groundwater dependent ecosystems of that area and just combining both  um well I wouldn’t say combining, I don’t really like that, it’s more you know Western science and  an engineering background meeting an Indigenous  standpoint both with, you know, qualitative research  and quantitative research or qualitative being – doing fieldwork on Country, collecting water  samples of surface water, checking different eco-tox values those for inorganics Organics  heavy metals and such and things like this. The other the other thing is interviewing Elders  of my mob, so one-on-one interviews like we’re doing now that I’ve you know curated, through a  high-risk ethics application that I’d done to engage with you know them as elders and  and you know have that really intimate one-on-one time with you know older generations that aren’t  often um treated and respected the way they should be and haven’t been in past from Western  institution and academic institutions. Often Western institutions have been very extractive in  their nature – so coming from more that Indigenous standpoint and Indigenous ways of being doing and  knowing and my reciprocal relationship with my own community in an ethical way  and having those really rich yarns that can also tell the you know through a thematic  analysis of those elders and their experience pertaining to water on Country both above and  below ground – different sites different meanings different reasons as to why things are and the  way things have been done and maybe could be done better you know and where you know  we’ve found high levels of boron from field work last year from different areas there’s  other researchers now reaching out to me who have like oh that was actually where you  what some of your research had come out that we’ve done recently is part of the hydrology water  research symposium highlighting some of these issues. There’s now other academics in this sort  of space that reach out and be like, oh there was a  spill at one of the wells a few years ago because  the petroleum industry they didn’t use the correct piping for their wellhead it was like copper  instead of 216 stainless and things like this and that’s only you know and it’s in proximity  to areas we’d found that were high levels of toxins and such so combining like I say both  that Western science well not combining meeting at halfway you know and how they can complement each  other and that two-way learning, I guess you’d say as well and now… yeah, I’ll finish at that.

14.58     Can you explain what is meant by water colonialism?

Yeah of course, so water colonialism briefly – I’ll  try briefly because there’s a lot of history there  you may have heard the term terra nullius you know the Van Diemen’s Land ‘there’s no one here’, you  know, no one has connection to this place, and the many different nations within this place.  So water colonialism is like you can think of ‘Aqua nullius’ so and on a systematic level you  know Virginia Marshall is a Wiradjuri author and academic did a book a few years ago, on the  seminal work Aqua nullius securing Aboriginal water rights from more of that like legal  perspective and talks heavily on aqua nullius and water colonialism and what that means for our  mob. And just quick stats are like you know we make up – all land within this colony  of Australia is Indigenous land right, there’s some  connection from an Indigenous group to that place.  Not only that, there’s water. So people talk about  ‘land back’ and and you know reparations… but without  ‘water back’ and removing that water colonialism you  can’t have land back so water colonialism is like  two percent of the water licenses in Australia less than – owned by Indigenous people probably  less, the Murray-Darling Basin Indigenous nations are still waiting for millions upon millions of  dollars from the federal you know government environment minister to administer those water  licenses and funds back to those communities, things like this. Water colonialism is where, is  put in place on Iman country that shouldn’t have been there that have now flooded areas  that shouldn’t been flooded. Water colonialism is  my ancestors, some of my ancestors’ remains now being  you know shown from erosion from some of these practices on country where you know that Taroom  Aboriginal Reserve I spoke of earlier, there’s now ancestral remains that have actually been  you know coming up from erosion of the waterways and the surface waters, so they are types of water  colonialism that many people may not understand or you know the industry extracting water and those  you know the modern day water licenses and who gets to actually trade on that water market and  Are any Indigenous people on that water market, are  there users outside of the irrigators and you  know the extractive industry – is there benefits for  Indigenous people both economically and socially  and culturally for community if they were to have access to those water… I can guarantee there is  through both you know some of my research in the early stages in these two years and other  Indigenous academics in this space that have been here for a long time before me as well.

17.37     Can you talk a bit about culturally supported methods of water management?

Yeah so a different model to manage water would  be you know we speak of Indigenous rangers you know  um in Indigenous protected areas up in the Daintree and uh in Queensland there could be  similar ideas like Indigenous independent rangers. Recently I heard from uh uh I think I believe he  was an Ogier Boi[?] man from around the Toronto area  in Turtle Island, First Nations over there, at  a conference I attended and he speaks of the importance of gathering baseline independent  Indigenous water data, things like this. Monitoring  our own waterways and what that means for us  based on our principles, our cultural principles not what is forced upon us through you know some  sort of standard that isn’t actually.. what I’ve been found is not actually followed these water  standards and you know the eco-tox levels are above what they should be for different users  in different environments within both the surface water and tributaries of those areas that are  populated by coal seam gas wells so you know some of  those culturally supportive methods are having you  know a cultural advisor with you when you are out on Country if you’re a scientist going to collect  water or if you’re an ecologist or you know you’re going to sample different species of that area is  there anyone who’s a Traditional Owner that can go and walk that Country with you to ensure you’re  doing things in a culturally appropriate way and um I can guarantee from you know experience  of students I’ve supervised that have been on my Country with a cultural advisor to collect water  they’ve greatly benefited from that, to the point now one of them’s actually doing a PhD  in that area focusing on water, um and are really passionate about it and that is from you know  learning from the community of that area that’s connected to that area of Indigenous peoples  of that area. So that’s more about those culturally supported scientific methods  and combining those you know Elders’ voices um with some of this you know numbers and data.

19.41     How do you engage with and manage conflicting agendas between the Indigenous communities and the extractive resources industry?

Yeah I can go into detail a little bit about that so in relation to you know where the extractive  industry reps sit and wanting to engage with this research uh and you know the the different  I guess stakeholders those that involve you have private land holders on freeheld land that isn’t  Native Title land, on Native Title determined Country. So there’s nuances with that you have  you know cotton farmers on Country, you have cattle farmers, the irrigators and such that  our water users as well and then you have the extractive industry. The jobs that they make and  create and economic gains from that in that area and then you also have traditional owners and  such and as a very you know politicizing topic and as an academic you don’t want to get too  involved in that of course from an ethical and academic standpoint and when we when  when you ask about whether the extractive industry want to engage in this research  um I guess there was a particular one representative from one of the companies  who had a Native Title meeting reached out to me after realizing some of the work I’d been doing um  and wanted to engage further and I said here’s my email, here’s my contact and I’ve yet to hear from  them. So I guess face value that there is, and some  of the extractive industry they’re very big on  marketing so on at our NAIDOC Day on Country last year when fieldwork was undertaken there’s big  marquees of all the extractive industry businesses and hats they give out and things like this and  they’re really promoting you know ‘we engage with the community’ and ‘we’re for the community’  um without you know going into the detail about… well you can be like that but what about that  poisoned creek or what about the fact you want to release you know 15 megalitres of cobra produce  water into the river systems that are going to affect these totemic species that are identified  different clan groups within emanation they don’t really want to talk about that as just that sort  of face value thing and from my standpoint I’m more interested in hearing from community I think  for too long we haven’t heard from community and their standpoint and viewpoint and often I guess  the industry in itself promote and have their  promotions heavily. I’m sure when more publications  come out they might you know reach out to me more and want to you know want to be involved  um potentially I know for some community members they may work with the industry and there’s good  relationships there and the reason they may work with the industry is um you know if you look on  one of the extractive industries websites there’s a bit of an interview there and it’s about how  the imminent person and how knowledge holder and the cultural heritage worker wants to work there  to ensure when they’re doing their operations they’re not going to bulldoze a burial tree or  a scar tree or a culturally significant site. And my sort of research goes further to that and looks  at well if we have the Cultural Heritage Act in Queensland and the Indigenous land use agreements,  cultural heritage management plans what how are the how is the policy and governance of  that done and what is the legislation needs to being put in place to make those stronger and  incorporate you know water sovereignty for our people in a more stronger sense as well.

23.07     How are you structuring your project in terms of methodology? 

So there’s a lot of nuances especially when you’re working with your own community but there’s also  benefits of me working with my own community. I  spoke a little earlier about my Honours degree, I’m  working with a different Indigenous community in remote Western Australia my PhD actually started  with that clean drinking water groundwater for them, for the first three months and after  reflexivity thinking about my positionality within that research and more learning from  the social sciences and humanities and you know being drawn back to my own Country and realizing  I’m down here for another four years while I study and there’s all this stuff going on home  um and we’re just trying to keep up you know the gas supply security projects is going to be 22,000  wells in that area and I’d realized through that method of reflexivity and my positionality within  it I wanted to focus back on this research so that is how working with my own community come about  and the need for that. There was a huge need for that and wanting to give back after being away for  so long and studying and get a higher degree being in a privilege privileged position to do that,  as much as I’ve worked really hard to be in the position I am and that then also from you know  going to meetings from a very young age with my mob about you know our land rights, there’s  always you know family community relationships and such so it’s easier when you know you have those  relationships already built. I’m not say um I guess  an outsider you know I’m an insider within this  research but I’m also an outsider as someone who’s in a university institution. That’s my  position and regarding recruiting for interviews that is more so when I first started doing some  of the research I let out, reached out straight away to the elders’ working group and the PBC  board members who you know engage the most with the petroleum industry and because they engage  the most with the petroleum industry in high level executive meetings they’re some of the  best people to talk to about you know what is that experience like, is there free prior and informed  consent with that relationship and agreement making through Indigenous land use agreements  and cultural heritage management plans? So that’s part of that recruitment process and it was  um I think something as simply as like a phone call or I’d and initially I’d done  a presentation on some of my early findings and just disseminated some of my research in a plain  language and I just said, hey you mob, do you know what’s happening on Country with this particular  um water release and that was both co-produced water and RO releases being planned by a company  at the Fairview in June site to release these toxins into the waterway? They’re like oh no, we  don’t know much of that, we were told reverse osmosis water is very clean we didn’t know  about the co-produced water on top of that. So I just shared from a plain language sense and  point of view what was happening to those elders and one of the elders raised their hand in that  presentation said hey hey nephew, can you send us  a survey, like I want to be involved, I want to hear  more I want to talk about this so that led to then those interviews it led to an ethics application  and that involves four different key areas and methods which is interviews with the elders of  the board who deal most with the extractive industry through those executive meetings;  shorter surveys with broader community members; follow-up yarning circles and dissemination of  that through those yarning circles so there’s some of those methods and that’s from that  Indigenous standpoint and that you know reciprocal participatory approach with my own community.  Yeah that was a really big thing within the method is I didn’t want to just do  the elders or those that were on the PBC board. I really wanted to and they  represent each family and clan group within emanation as well so there’s  you know you’re giving everyone a part of that community an opportunity because some  as well they may not be on the board but they’re still involved with community of  course that go to the meetings and then that’s why I have the follow-up surveys with broader  community and have greater numbers and and data through a shorter survey rather than an in-depth  you know one hour interview where I have to transcribe and the thematic analysis of that yeah.

27.40   How do you see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing being useful towards land use and sustainability of natural systems in the context of today?

Indigenous standpoint and ways of knowing being useful for natural resource management  I guess is a huge benefit to the broader community not only indigenous community in the sense that it  recognizes past wrongdoings and it comes up with new ways and better ways and more appropriate and  respectful ways to do and engage with community, better science that incorporates you know  Indigenous Sovereign voices of that Country that often hasn’t incorporated those voices. There’s  you know an example some of the work Professor Ampelina is doing in the Matawara Fitzroy Rivers  um you know there and it goes into more detail um about the benefits of having Indigenous academics  speaking on you know natural resources like water and better ways to manage water.  Some of the other benefits outside of reconciling or not even reconciling, just acknowledging the  past injustices from you know the first people that use the water for their sheep farms that  destroyed borer sites and ceremonial dancing grounds because our flat planes on country to  now you know the farmers to then the extractive industry that are you know extracting that  water resource as well. When we think of indigenous ways of being, doing and knowing  we are involving community and an indigenous people in a sovereign way to ensure their wishes  are done appropriately and without that I think a lot of natural resource management  management is lacking it’s from a western standpoint I think. When you think of the 65  000 plus years of natural resource management of Indigenous people – the Gundidjmara eel traps,  the Brewarrina fish traps up you know in New South Wales, you think you know when I speak a  bit about water colonialism you’ve got the Yarra River and the waterfall that was used to be there  between the salt and fresh and that being blown up and you know the harm that’s caused between  different neighbouring tribes, and and such, water plays an integral role as a natural resource to  Indigenous communities. Often it can be a boundary, often it can be a meeting place  often it can be places of great, great cultural significance for different specific ceremonies.  um it can be a place of mourning and healing as well and it can be you know places where you’re  not supposed to go at all and I think some of those sort of values and principles aren’t  incorporated within the way that things have been done you know look at the position we’re in now  around the world regarding climate change um and things like that and I could go into more detail  about you know the fires, the stuff like that – the  floods, what you know how – how has Western natural  resource management led and contributed to that that, is another way of thinking about things.

30.50      What kinds of outcomes and impacts are you hoping to achieve with the research?

Yeah of course, so that some of the outcomes and objectives are to disseminate simply as a starting  point some of the voices and concerns from traditional owners that have never been published  before right. It’s always been you know from the other, rather than from an Indigenous standpoint  of ways of doing and knowing, so that’s really  important an objective I want to do. I want to tell  our story from our our way right, so that’s a really great objective I’m looking forward  to in itself as a baseline. Another objective is something even recently through the Environmental  Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act I was working with an ecologist, lawyer  and some other academics and we submitted a public submission to the EPBC, the Environment  Protection and Biodiversity Cons Act and the federal government as part of a water  release on country where they’re going to release co-produced water  and that was the first time in that area of public submission incorporated cultural values of water  as well as Western science reasons as to why that  maybe should not go ahead and some of our concerns.  And from that publication and submission to the EPBC Act, as part of the water trigger, we  gave our advice to the federal environment Minister we also sent her a co-signed letter  from community from Woorabinda, up on you know Wuli Wuli  Country, Gangalu Country, Iman country, Darumbal  country, others got involved inside that and raised  our concerns as well as that public submission  from that some of the early you know objectives from this research about protecting country and  kin and totemic species and groundwater and surface water we had a win where the actual  Federal environment was to knock back that and before she would even knocked back that sorry  um the the company actually said oh, no we’re not going to release co-produced water anymore and I’m  sure that it’s from the feedback that was given from us to the federal environment so that was  then passed on so that’s a huge win that’s already happened and an objective in the early stages in  the second year of this research that I didn’t realize could happen in the academic spaces as  particularly as a PhD student I thought you know you’re in a very pinpoint silo of information and  knowledge that you’re going to give back and make society a better place for that and you know just  sitting at a desk, going away, you’re doing your literature reviews and the field work but it’s  great to see that already in the early stages of this project there’s been practical outcomes that  have then led to the protection of country and kin and cultural values of water. Other like long-term  um and when I finish outside of just you know hearing from Iman peoples about that  water is you know hopefully these different ways of water management can help you know  surrounding communities and other communities that are facing you know heavy heavily densely  populated gas fields or you know the proposal of gas you know you have the Betaloo basin and you  have the Gomeroi mob with the Narrabri gas and the pipelines associated with that so I’m not  trying to homogenize the Indigenous experience within the colony, however I’m saying that there  is similarities there from a sovereign standpoint that some of this research may help benefit and  inform and we’re already seeing that with other communities reaching out and wanting  to be involved and learning from from that you know first publication so they’re some of the  benefits as well um and then you know I see it I think long term you know changing policy and  legislation. I’m a Lynn Brake Scholarship winner as part of the department I was at the time  Department Agriculture, Water and Environment now Department Energy, Environment, Climate change and  Water and that scholarship was about protecting the Great Artesian Basin in Queensland. Lynn Brake  was an amazing academic who’d done a lot of great work having Bores in in the gap to protect the  underground water and from that scholarship I now can you know present some you know earlier  reports and disseminate presentations to the Great Artesian Basin senior advisory committee  who advise the federal environment Minister and they advise policy makers in every state and  territory in the country pertaining to water in particular with The Gap so already there’s  things like that as well that are happening that are informant policy and legislation  change and different ways of being and doing and knowing and how we see and our relationship and  reciprocal relationship with waterways um and I hope that continues into the future with some of  this research and when it’s published and that you know more publications on the way and such.

35.36    Thinking beyond your own project, what do you see as some of the most significant developments underway in Australian Indigenous research at the moment?

Yeah so in this moment in history relating to Indigenous research within Australia,  so-called Australia, we have different topical areas. So currently we have the referendum coming  up as well, there’s some great research coming out of Get Up and Larissa Baldwin Bundjalung woman  there and some of the work they’re doing and activist work they’re doing in relation to the  the the referendum. There’s also detailing known as brown and Millie Telford at Australian Progress  that are doing things with Common Ground which was a conference in Meanjin and gathering of  change makers and what do the change makers who are Indigenous around the country, all around the  country want to see so that’s some of that you know forefront research at the moment.  Indigenous research in the country as well that’s going to have huge impacts in different areas  as well there’s also from a health standpoint an Indigenous health humanity standpoint, there’s  Professor Chelsea Watego in Meanjin, Queensland who’s doing amazing research on you know racial  injustices within the health system as well – that’s going to have huge impacts for Indigenous  community in the country. There’s also from you know talking about health and and that there’s  also you know we think about health of Country there’s fire research coming out and cultural  burning practices from Indigenous standpoints there’s Professor and Aunty Em Poelina in the  Martuwarra Fitzroy River and the personhood of that  river – that was the first paper in the  country where there was an author noted as a river,  the Martuwarra was an author within that publication.  It’s a first of its kind. There’s Brad Moggridge of Gomeroi, Indigenous water scientist as well  in New South Wales that speaks on underground water and the cultural values of underground  water within the country – he’s like one of if not the only person besides myself doing that sort  of research in the country that’s well overdue. So there’s some sort of I guess different topic  areas where there’s a lot of you know Indigenous research within the country that’s you know really  um at the forefront at the moment and will have a lot of impact I think.