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Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change
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Jones_D_The challenge of being heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change

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Beyond the Edge: Australia's First National Peri-urban Conference …

Beyond the Edge: Australia's First National Peri-urban Conference
La Trobe University
Oct 2013

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  • 1. The Challenge of Being Heard: Understanding coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal People’s vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change Darryl Low Choy, David Jones, Philip Clarke, Silvia Serrao-Neumann, Rob Hales & Olivia Koschade Griffith University & Deakin University a National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) funded research project presented at 1st Australian Peri-Urban National Conference, LaTrobe University
  • 2. Acknowledgement We would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin nation who are the Traditional Owners of these lands. Also acknowledge the country of the Wathaurong, Boon Wurrung, Quandamooka, Jagera and Kaurna Aboriginal communities involved in this project. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present of the Wurundjeri of the Kulin nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginals present.
  • 3. Research Context
  • 4. Climate Change and the Urban/Peri-urban Region Aim: This study will provide an initial examination of coastal urban and peri-urban Indigenous community vulnerability to, and capacity for climate change adaptation (CCA). The project’s specific objectives are: 1. to understand the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of selected urban and peri-urban Indigenous coastal communities; 2. to collaboratively explore a range of strategies to enhance Indigenous adaptive capacity in the case study communities within a community of knowledge framework 3. to establish the foundations of a community of Indigenous knowledge (network) for ongoing research into Indigenous climate change adaptation (CCA); 4. to consolidate the public domain knowledge and research in Indigenous CCA; 5. to scope the opportunities, challenges and processes for adding to the public domain knowledge; 6. to develop in partnership a set of protocols for ongoing Indigenous CCA research; and 7. to provide opportunities for the up-skilling of Indigenous researchers in the field of CCA.
  • 5. Where do most Indigenous People Live?   30% of Australia’s indigenous population reside in cities 48% of Queensland’s Indigenous Population live in Cities 24% of Queensland’s Indigenous Population live in Brisbane 32% of Queensland’s Indigenous Population live in SEQ
  • 6. Indigenous Communities Studied Jagera Ganay-Magil Aboriginal Corporation Brisbane / Ipswich region Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Board - Port Adelaide Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd North Geelong Quandamooka Lands Council Aboriginal Corporation -Stradbroke Island / Moreton Bay SEQ Boon Wurrung Foundation Limited - Mornington Peninsula Shire
  • 7. The Kulin Nation
  • 8. Wathaurong ‘Countries’
  • 9. Wathaurong • the Co-Operative is not a Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) as defined under Victorian state legislation and thus is not the legally recognised spokesperson or stakeholder entity for the Wathaurong people. • The RAP responsibilities for this country have been vested in the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation (WAC), which is based in nearby Ballarat. • The Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative Limited (WACO) is located in North Geelong. • The primary goal of the Co-Operative is to provide Indigenous people within the Greater Geelong and adjacent areas access to a range of culturally appropriate holistic services, particularly in health, housing, education, employment and heritage (Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative 2012). • The Co-Operative services an Indigenous community of between 3,000 to 5,000 people, which includes a large proportion of transient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have travelled to this Wathaurong country from all over Australia for various education, employment, housing and health reasons. • The people who are more permanently based in the area and identify themselves as having direct family links to the Wathaurong number about 2,500. • Within the findings, the threads of Indigenous representation, housing, employment, environmental & cultural assets, and wild food network were raised as key topics by the Wathaurong.
  • 10. Composite Matrix of CCA Themes for Case Study Communities Employment Environmental & Cultural Assets Wild Food Network (Indigenous) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5 Indigenous Representation Individuals Families Businesses Corporations Housing 1, 2, 3, 5 KEY 1. Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association Inc (Adelaide Plains) 2. 3. 4. 5. Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Limited (North Geelong) Boon Wurrung Foundation Limited (Melbourne City to Wilsons Promontory) Quandamooka Lands Council Aboriginal Corporation (Stradbroke Island / Moreton Bay SEQ) Jagera Ganay-Magill Aboriginal Corporation (Brisbane-Ipswich region)
  • 11. Wathaurong: Composite Matrix of CCA Themes for Case Study Communities Employment Environmental & Cultural Assets Wild Food Network (Indigenous) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 2, 3, 4, 5 Indigenous Representation Individuals Families Businesses Corporations Housing 1, 2, 3, 5 KEY 1. Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association Inc (Adelaide Plains) 2. 3. 4. 5. Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Limited (North Geelong) Boon Wurrung Foundation Limited (Melbourne City to Wilsons Promontory) Quandamooka Lands Council Aboriginal Corporation (Stradbroke Island / Moreton Bay SEQ) Jagera Ganay-Magill Aboriginal Corporation (Brisbane-Ipswich region)
  • 12. Key Findings 1. Assessment of threats to Indigenous heritage sites in coastal sites from climate change (eg coastal site from sea level rise and storm surge)I is needed 2. Advantages of an Aboriginal Housing corporation model for individual and family responses to climate change 3. How to improve Indigenous capacity and participation in CCA initiatives (including policy development) 4. Improving / encouraging Indigenous integration into the “Wild Food Chain” (including a focus on younger generations) 5. Potential for Indigenous involvement in wild plant species harvesting and its contemporary translation into ‘bush tucker’ 6. Opportunities and constraints in undertaking Climate Change Adaptation under different land tenure arrangements in the urban and peri-urban areas exists and needs research 7. Whilst Indigenous society cannot be divorced from connection to ‘country’ research for country spiritual/physical and cultural relationships can be applied in a real world situation in an urban and periurban context for Indigenous residents 8. Understanding best ways for educating the younger generations about Climate Change Adaptation through appropriate visual media (eg. cartoons, images, sketches, digital media) 9. Custodian and Caretaker roles in Climate Change Adaptation and ‘country’ management and healing, and unifying knowledge, sharing and skills to be re-acquainted with these roles.
  • 13. a. Specific Indigenous climate change adaptation policy is absent in Victorian government policies and strategies and Wathaurong representation in Victorian government climate change adaptation policy forums is absent; b. Adaptive capacity could be significantly improved if the Wathaurong had enhanced access to their country; c. Due to ongoing historical disadvantage, Wathaurong socio-economic issues tend to override climate change adaptation considerations; d. Whilst important economically, wild plants and animals have cultural importance in contemporary identity building and exploitation of the wild food network presents important opportunities for urban and peri-urban Wathaurong; Wathaurong: Key Findings
  • 14. Wathaurong: Key Findings d. Wathaurong language and words hold certain commonalities that have within them appraisals of longitudinally environmental patterns and changes, but opportunity to study climate change through these mediums will be seriously constrained through the decline in Wathaurong language speakers amongst the urban and peri-urban Wathaurong community; e. There is concern about changes occurring within a background of peri-urban and urban expansion on Wathaurong country which have the potential to further disconnect the Wathaurong community from their country and seriously limits their stewardship opportunity;
  • 15. Wathaurong: Key Findings f. Peri-urban expansion is having a major deterioration upon the physical environment (land and water), which threatens cultural assets such as Wathaurong sites and is exacerbated by climate change; g. Many of the climate change adaptation challenges can be overcome through collaborative approaches especially those that build in Wathaurong traditional knowledge so that it does not undermine cultural identity; and,
  • 16. Wathaurong: Key Findings h. There is an urgent need to ensure that the next generation of the Wathaurong community is across climate change adaptation and other environmental management issues related to country whilst addressing issues of succession planning.
  • 17. To all who walk this land, May you stand tall as a tree Be as gentle as the morning mist And be as strong as The earth under your feet. May the warmth of the campfire Be in you and may The creator spirit Of the Wathaurong people Always watch over you. (Aunty Betty Pike; Pike, B. 2013. Welcome to Country. Ad Astra: The Geelong College Community Newsletter. 123: January: 12)
  • 18. The authors wish to acknowledge the kind involvement and support of the Quandamooka Lands Council Aboriginal Corporation Ltd, the Jagera Ganay-Magil Aboriginal Corporation Ltd (formerly Ngaran Goori Ltd), the Boon Wurrung Foundation Ltd, the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative Ltd and the Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association Inc in consenting to participation in this research project and enabling staff and elder involvement in the project. The authors also wish to acknowledge the initial support of the Mornington Peninsula Council, the City of Greater Geelong Council, Parks Victoria, and Wilto Yerlo at the University of Adelaide in formulating this research project. At Griffith University acknowledgement is made to the School of Environment and the Urban Research Program, and at Deakin University to the School of Architecture & Built Environment, Deakin Prime and the Institute of Koorie Education in supporting the research project. Abstract Climate change is expected to have social, economic and environmental impacts on urban and peri-urban Indigenous communities inhabiting coastal areas throughout south-eastern Australia. These impacts include a loss in community and environmental assets, including cultural heritage sites, with significant impact on the quality of life of populations inhabiting these areas, and the establishment of potential favourable conditions for the spread of plant diseases, weeds and pests. Over most of south-eastern Australia, including southern Victoria and the Adelaide region climate change is expected to lead to increased risk of heatwaves, longer drought periods, increasing bushfire risk, increased flood event risks and more frequent coastal inundation and associated impacts such as coastal erosion. As part of a NCCARF funded project, the authors reviewed coastal urban and peri-urban Aboriginal people’s perceptions and insights about their vulnerability and adaptive capacity of climate change on the Australia’s south-eastern coastline. Several aspects collectively emerged from this research and the Aboriginal community workshops, namely: Indigenous seasonal calendars are a major intellectual tool in which to better appraise longitudinally environmental patterns and changes; Aboriginal language and words hold certain commonalities that have within them appraisals of longitudinally environmental patterns and changes; potential for Indigenous involvement in wild plant species harvesting and its contemporary translation into ‘bush tucker’ is suffering from changes in species availability; landscapes have been inadequately fired, with an absence of firebreaks in many areas of significant cultural importance; peri-urban expansion is having a major deterioration upon the physical environment, which threatens cultural assets like Aboriginal sites; there is concern about changes occurring within a background of peri-urban and urban development, which appears to be escalating micro-environmental changes; and, Indigenous communities demand representation in climate change adaptation forums and to be more directly involved in land and sea care projects. This paper reviews the findings of this research, offers recommendations to better position Aboriginal engagement and knowledge systems in the wider climate change adaptation policy discourse. Particular attention is drawn to the Wathaurong community whose traditional country embraces the Melbourne and Geelong peri-urban areas.
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