Territory Stories

Processes for effective management: Learning from agencies and Warlpiri people involved in managing the Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area, Australia



Processes for effective management: Learning from agencies and Warlpiri people involved in managing the Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area, Australia


Walker, Jane


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Thesis (Ph.D.) - Charles Darwin University




Tanami Desert


"In this dissertation I address why equity between conservation and development agendas of Indigenous peoples and partnering agencies are hard to achieve. The overall aim is to contribute useful insights into where management practice can be enhanced to attain a better balance. This study takes place within an Australian desert context. Aboriginal landowners, in conjunction with the Federal Government’s Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) program, manage a large amount of land through the national protected area system in desert Australia. Through this research I aimed to study how to improve IPA management so as to reduce such gaps between intent and practice." - Abstract


A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The Northern Institute, Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, December 2010.

Table of contents

Abstract -- Introduction -- Australian protected areas and Aboriginal peoples: an environment of change -- Analytical and methodological framework -- Warlpiri people as land managers: perceptions and practice -- Warlpiri perspectives on the management of the Northern Tanami IPA -- Management agency interests and impressions of the Northern Tanami IPA -- Comparative experiences of IPA management -- Learning from the Northern Tanami IPA: Research findings and conclusions -- References -- Appendices 1-20.




Protected areas; Management; Natural resources; Conservation areas; Grassland ecology; Social life and customs

Publisher name

Publisher not known

Place of publication

Place not known


Thesis (Ph.D.) - Charles Darwin University


xxi, 392 pages : colour illustrations, colour maps, tables

File type




Copyright owner

Check within Publication or with content Publisher.



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

147 The primary purpose of nearly every country visit was to hunt for karlawurru (goanna), collect yarla (bush potatoes) or Acacia seeds. Many other bush foods, such as bush bananas and sugarbag141, and resources such as wood and bush medicines, were collected as the women encountered them. Successful hunting trips were reliant on the womens hunting skill, as well as their knowledge of seasonal resource availability and plant and animal characteristics and behaviours. The women knew which species were seasonally available, as shown by the following interview exert: Like yangka ngapa jangkarla mani karlipa jana yuparli pinki ngulajangka yangunungu pinkilki karlipa manirra (after rain [summer time] bush banana and yams grow). Yangununguju cold weather time yinarlingi, rlangu sugarbag, rlangu yangka cold weather time (in winter theres always plenty of porcupines (echidna) and sugarbag (native bee honey)). Cold weather, rlu yangka ka mangarri yirrarni hot time, ji ngulaju ngungkarli. Karlawurru kuwana underneath now cold weather time (goannas are now underground because of winter).142 The women also use biological indicators to assess the readiness of resources for collection. For example, when the Bloodwood tree flowers, the women know sugar bag will be available. Figure 17 (p.148) is a section of interview transcript that shows a detailed conversation about the knowledge the women have in relation to Acacia coriacea (dogwood), and how they use this knowledge to prepare for seed harvesting. On country visits, activities not related to collecting and hunting bush foods and resources were also undertaken; women would tell the stories and songs of Dreaming sites as we passed them. Country visits were also a social event, where the women readily discussed community events and life. The frequency of country visits for these women increased through this research, as my vehicle was available for country visits. However, the women indicated that they hunted similar distances and in similar areas when family or other non-Aboriginal people living in Lajamanu took them out. With limited access to vehicles, some of the younger women also hunted on foot around Lajamanu: 141 Sugar bag is the honey produced from the Australian native bee 142 Unknown women (IPA Management Committee), interview 2 May 2007

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.