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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201 the biggest focus I have had in the past two years has been to establish and try and make an effective ranger group within Lajamanu, the Wulaign Rangers233. As such the opportunity for a ranger group has been one of the most important social benefits occurring through the IPA: the fellas are getting paid for the work that they do theyve got something to do on a day to day basis, it keeps them out of trouble on the streets in Lajamanu234. Alongside employment, IPAs have been found to generate other benefits essential for reducing the disadvantage experienced by many Aboriginal people living in remote areas, such as improving education (Gilligan 2006). A CLC staff member states that IPAs should contribute further to reducing such disadvantage: IPAs should continue to strive to meet some of the federal indices for socio-economic benefits to those land owners. The Wulaign Rangers engage in fee-for-service work, principally biodiversity monitoring with Newmont Mine (Ch. 5.4.1). Such contracts are important for the economic sustainability of the IPA and Ranger program. Other livelihood opportunities are expected to develop as the IPA becomes better established (Ch. 5.4.1). The IPA was also seen by CLC staff as a way to enhance broader community interest and participation in land management: [the IPA is] engaging more people and around town giving people something to talk about, giving people something to do making people think about something they may not have had to think about for a long time land management or inspiring people to visit parts of country they might not have been able to get to without vehicles or without assistance235. Some DEHWA staff noted that Aboriginal livelihoods were enhanced through IPAs, by improvements in education and capacity, and engagement in broader resource management programs. Such benefits were described as program spin-offs: 233 CLC staff member (#2), interview 30 November 2006 234 CLC staff member (#2), interview 30 November 2006 235 CLC staff member (#2), interview 30 November 2006

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