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

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Thesis (Ph.D.) - Charles Darwin University


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

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174 5.5 Governance, planning and accountability: performance and issues 5.5.1 Planning and decision-making processes The official decision-making (governance) model for the IPA, with specific roles and functions of each level in the model, is outlined in Ch. (p.46). Through this research however, the research participants indicated varying opinions of and insights into how planning and decision-making processes are carried out within the IPA. The Rangers discussed how they met with the IPA Coordinator to plan activity logistics: we have meetings and decided (sic) where to go, when we start; but specified that the Management Committee has the overall role of decision making (Ch. 5.4.2). While stating that they talked with the IPA Coordinator about activities carried out by the Rangers, the senior women did not identify with being involved in planning beyond decisions made about their own involvement in management activities (Ch. 5.4.2). The men told a very different story by talking about the processes required for effective planning, in particular the need to have the right people on the Management Committee to speak for and about country: we are the instructors we have knowledge to make decisions194. The men discussed the need for the IPA Coordinator and the Management Committee to be able to learn from each other to make sound decisions about country, including the need for all parties to listen and respect each other195. Processes which encourage respect and understanding between Aboriginal and non Aboriginal people are essential in management planning (Davies and Young 1995; Bauman and Smyth 2007). Womens involvement in planning was identified by the men as critical for meeting gender responsibilities for country: we have responsibilities on both sides men and women196. 194 Billy Jampijinpa Bunter (IPA Management Committee), interview 4 May 2007 195 Jerry Jangala Patrick and Steve Jampijinpa Patrick (IPA Management Committee), interview 23 July 2007 196 Ronnie Jakamarra Lawson (IPA Management Committee), interview 4 May 2007

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