Indigenous HDR Scholarships

Higher Degree by Research Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stipend Scholarship/s:

RTP Scholarship value: $27,082 per annum (annual CPI) stipend and RTP Fee-offset tuition scholarship for three years with up to $2000 per year ancillary support.

Applications close 31 January 2018.

FedUni is calling for applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking to undertake a Research Masters or PhD in one of the following project areas:

Cultural and ecological evolution of the Murray River floodplain

This project will investigate the cultural and ecological co-evolution of the Central Murray River floodplain, with a particular focus on indigenous knowledge of the landscape. It will explore the nature of the cultural economy, impact of people on the landscape, and ecological dynamics of the contact transition and subsequent intensification of water and land use.

Use of Indigenous Knowledge to Inform Environmental Water and Cultural Water Decisions

This project, in the field of natural resource management and related sciences, is linked to recognition of Victorian Traditional Owners’ rights to manage and own water resources. It will increase cultural awareness of, and Indigenous knowledge about, the water industry, particularly its interfaces of where water allocation decisions are made.

Aboriginal people’s roles in Australian gold mining (1840s-1920)

This interdisciplinary project will reconstruct the historical roles of Aboriginal people on the Australian goldfields, including the nature of Aboriginal involvement in the gold industry, the impact of gold mining on the Aboriginal cultural landscape, and the hybrid economies that sprang from their involvement in gold mining.

Application

Prospective candidates should indicate on the Application for Admission Form that they are applying for the University-funded scholarship.

The Application for Admission Form is available on the FedUni HDR Apply pageAll applicants should check their eligibility prior to applying.

Applications should include all relevant supporting documentation and FedUni must receive completed referee report forms by the scholarship closing date, 31 January 2018. As part of their application, prospective Higher Degree by Research applicants are also required to provide:

  • 250 word title and summary on the intended project
  • Transcripts of all tertiary level academic study
  • Australian citizens must provide a copy of their birth certificate or passport
  • Permanent Residents must provide a copy of their visa and passport
  • List of published work and first page of each publication
  • Copies of contractual agreement with outside sponsor or institution (if applicable)
  • Copy of your honours or masters thesis abstract
  • Evidence for Australian honours equivalency, if applicable.
  • Any awards or accolades
  • Any publications produced or evidence of research performance

Project and Supervision briefs

Cultural and ecological evolution of the Murray River floodplain

Supervisory team: Prof Peter Gell (PS), Ass Prof. Fred Cahir (AS), Dr. Michael-Shawn Fletcher (CS), Dr. Colin Pardoe (CS)

Research Partners: The Barapa Barapa, The Yorta Yorta, The North Central CMA

Background: The PS has conducted a considerable body of research reconstructing ecological change in the wetlands of the Murray River from sediment records, mostly in the lower reaches. The team have secured funding from the North Central CMA to extend this research to the wetlands of the Central floodplain, most notably at the Ramsar and Icon wetlands of the Gunbower forest. This project will also examine the fire and vegetation history (Fletcher) of the floodplain from fossilised charcoal and pollen.

Project: The student project will complement this research and be an interdisciplinary study examining the different lines of evidence available to reconstruct the cultural and ecological co-evolution of the floodplain. It will integrate ethnohistoric and paleoenvironmental sources of evidence to assess the nature of the cultural economy, the impact of people on the floodplain landscape, and the ecological dynamics of the contact transition and subsequent intensification of water and land use. It will seek to recover the indigenous knowledge of landscape and inform regional cultural flows.

Email Professor Peter Gell for further details.

Supervisory team:

PS Prof. Peter Gell successfully undertook a pioneering study integrating palaeoecology and ethnohistory in 1988 in the forests of East Gippsland. In 2016 he hosted the second Australian Society for Limnology symposium on Indigenous water Knowledge and Cultural flows and is a member of the ASL Indigenous Water Knowledge sub-committee. He chairs the Aquatic Transitions working group of the Future Earth project Past Global Changes (PAGES) and is a member of its Scientific Steering Committee. He has supervised one indigenous student (discontinued) at The University of Ballarat and has developed relations with the Barapa Barapa in association with the North Central CMA. He has supervised 12 HDRs to completion as PS. He has produced over 50 publications since 2014.

AS Ass. Prof. Fred Cahir has extensive experience in indigenous cultural research and has developed close relations with indigenous communities (mostly the Yorta Yorta) on indigenous ecological knowledge. He is a key member of the Federation University Collaborative Research Centre in Australian History and has supervised > 5 HDRs to completion. He currently supervises 8 HDRs including one indigenous student. He has produced 4 books and 12 book chapters since 2012.

CS Dr. Michael-Shawn Fletcher is an indigenous researcher at the University of Melbourne with considerable experience in fire and vegetation reconstruction, particularly in Tasmania and NT. He has had considerable experience in securing Indigenous ARC Discovery grants (x3) on long term human-climate-fire-vegetation interactions. He is a member of the PAGES Global Paleofire working group and the PAGES Ecological Resilience working group and has published 16 high level journal articles since 2013.

CS Dr. Colin Pardoe is a freelance archaeologist with experience in understanding indigenous economies and population pressures. He has worked extensively on the recent archaeology of the southern Murray Darling Basin with particular interest in indigenous use of the Gunbower Forest wetlands. He has developed close relations with the Barapa Barapa people.

Use of Indigenous Knowledge to Inform Environmental Water and Cultural Water Decisions

Background:

Indigenous water knowledge, allocations and rights are a key issue for water management in Australia and particularly Victoria. This is acknowledged in the new Victorian Water Plan (DELWP, 2016) as a pathway toward genuine recognition of Victorian Traditional Owners’ rights to manage and own water resources, and the appointment of an Indigenous Commissioner to the Victorian Environmental Water Holder as well as broader Indigenous representation across the State’s Catchment Management Authorities.

This project will suit a candidate with a background and interests in STEM and/or the social sciences. We will provide research training towards a higher degree in the field of natural resource management and related sciences. Outcomes of the project will increase the cultural awareness and Indigenous knowledge for the water industry, particularly at the interfaces of where water allocation decisions are made.

This project can consider:

  • Developing new methodologies and approaches for the implementation of cultural watering, compatible with existing policy frameworks.
  • Documenting Indigenous Water knowledge, for example, use of Aboriginal calendars, oral histories, cultural interpretations relating to responses to flows.
  • Use of the Aboriginal Water Assessment Tool to identify additional (cultural) flow objectives within existing flow determinations.
  • Complementary approaches to current environmental, social and consumptive watering regimes.
  • Testing of various tools to refine flow determinations and related decision-making processes.
  • A case study tailored to the candidate’s country, experiences or interests.

The project will be developed with guidance from the supervisory team and support from relevant Land Councils, water agencies and other key parties. Support currently exists with Westernport Biosphere and Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation.

Email Associate Professor Andrew Barton for further details

Supervisory Team:

Principal Supervisor: Andrew Barton (a.barton@federation.edu.au) is an Associate Professor in Water Engineering and has particular experience with the operation of complex water supply systems and the design and administration of water sharing frameworks where he has led these activities through circumstances of both extreme drought and floods. From his experiences at the coalface of water allocation decision making Andrew has developed unique insights into the technical and operational aspects of water supply as well as the vast complexities of water sharing arrangements and the associated political overlays and contests over water that frequently occur. Andrew has witnessed the emergence of social and cultural water within the Victorian water industry in recent years and has been involved with some of the policy developments and attempts at operationalising these matters into day-to-day decision-making. Andrew has published about 100 papers across areas of water resource management, water engineering and climate change, has supervised several PhD students to completion and is currently supervising four other PhD students.

Associate Supervisor: Jessica Reeves (j.reeves@federation.edu.au) is a senior lecturer in environmental science and has been leading a research program on various aspects of human impact on the Gippsland Lakes for the past three years. Jess has worked on many projects concerning long-term environmental and climate change, including human settlement patterns and wetland management across Australia (Gulf of Carpentaria, Pilbara, Coorong and western Victorian lakes). Jess is on the scientific advisory committee for the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area and the Archaeology and Geosciences panel of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Jess has previously supervised one Indigenous student and is developing relationships with the Gunaikurnai in association with the Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation. Jess is currently supervising 3 PhD students and has produced 10 three publications since 2013 in related fields.

Associate Supervisor: Michelle Graymore (m.graymore@federation.edu.au) is a senior research fellow and environmental sociologist with extensive research experience in the social dimensions of natural resource management, particularly water management. Michelle is interested in how social and cultural values and indigenous knowledge can be included in natural resource management, and has developed tools to enable social values to be determined and used in water allocation decision making. Michelle has supervised one PhD student to completion, and is currently supervising three other PhD students. Michelle has published over 20 journal articles, was chief editor on a book on water management in drylands, and guest editor of an issue of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management on the social dimensions of water management. Michelle was also on the organising committee for the Tapping the Turn 2012, a conference exploring the social dimensions of water. Michelle is currently a Board Director for the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority.

Co-Supervisor: Lance Lloyd (lance@lloydenviro.com.au)is an honorary research fellow with Federation University with over 30 years practical experience across SE Australia, and the Pacific Islands, in freshwater, estuarine, coastal and inland environments in ecology and management requirements. Native fish ecology and water management are his passions and he has published widely in ecology, water and flow management, and wetland management in scientific papers and management reports. His major research and consulting projects, and several published papers have focused upon flows, fish and ecology. He has extensive experience working with aboriginal groups on water and fish related projects which have included two projects with the Gunditjmara relating to water management of Lake Condah and Darlot Creek. These projects required understanding of the Aboriginal people’s use of the land and water in the past and currently and how environmental water and wetland management would enhance the utility and cultural value of the system for the Gunditjmara. He has also worked with indigenous communities in southern Victoria (Bunurong), northern Victoria (Yorta Yorta), southern NSW (Barkindji) and Tasmania (on truwana - Cape Barren Island). In the last 4 years he has worked with NZ Govt asses R&D plans which have a very strong requirement of incorporating Maori knowledge (Vision Matauranga) into all of their research and it is providing quite valuable comparisons and learnings for the Australian context.

Aboriginal people’s roles in Australian gold mining (1840s-1920)

Supervisory team: Ass Prof. Fred Cahir (PS), Dr Anne Beggs-Sunter (AS), Prof Ian Clark (AS)

Potential Research Partners: AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies), National Library of Australia and National Museum of Australia.

Background: The PS has conducted a considerable body of research reconstructing the role of Aboriginal people’s participation in the gold rushes of Victoria and Queensland. This project will also examine the role of Aboriginal people[s] in trans-national gold fields of America, New Zealand and Canada. It is intended that this project will lead to multi-media projects.

Project: The student project will complement the existing research and be an interdisciplinary study (including: linguistics, toponymies, visual arts and ethnography) examining the different lines of evidence available to reconstruct the historical roles of Aboriginal people on the gold fields of Australia (and international). It will integrate ethno-historic sources of evidence to assess the nature of Aboriginal involvement in the gold industry, the impact of gold mining on the Aboriginal cultural landscape, and the hybrid economies that sprang from their involvement in the mining for gold. It will seek to recover the Indigenous cultural memory of Aboriginal involvement with gold mining.

Email Associate Professor Fred Cahir for further details

Supervisory team:

Ass. Prof. Fred Cahir has extensive experience in Indigenous history research and has developed close relations with indigenous communities across Victoria. He is a key member of the Federation University Collaborative Research Centre in Australian History and is a member of AIATSIS. Fred was a University of Queensland Industry Fellow (2014) researching Aboriginal people's roles on the Queensland Gold Fields and also an Australian Prime Ministers Centre Fellow (2014). In 2011 Fred was a CI with Professor Ian Clark on a successful ARC Linkage project: 'The Burke and Wills Scientific Expedition 1860-61: the Aboriginal story', industry partner –Royal Society of Victoria. This application was successful, and commenced in 2011. The PhD student completed in 2015. He has supervised > 5 HDRs and three Hons students (including two Indigenous students) to completion. He currently supervises 9 HDRs including one Indigenous student. He has produced 4 books, 12 book chapters and 10 journal articles since 2012.  Fred's research projects have recently (2015) contributed to two major cultural education outcomes for Culture Victoria and Sovereign Hill Museum. See them at: http://sovereignhillhiddenhistories.com.au/menu/

http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/stories/aboriginal-culture/seeing-the-land-from-an-aboriginal-canoe/

Dr Anne Beggs-Sunter has extensive research experience in Victorian colonial history, with a special interest in the development of Ballarat and district goldmining from 1851. Her PhD research revolved around the Eureka Stockade and its continuing impact on Australian culture. She has worked closely with Sovereign Hill Museum, especially the Gold Museum, over many years, and with the Museum Of Australian Democracy at Eureka, as well as the Art Gallery of Ballarat and the Public Record Office of Victoria Ballarat branch. She has supervised eight successful PhD candidates in Australian history, and is currently involved with a further seven students. She has published exhibition catalogues in conjunction with the Art Gallery of Ballarat and the Public Record Office of Victoria, and written a number of articles and book chapters exploring aspects of Ballarat’s gold rush history.