Fenner School has philosophical basis that is similar to the holistic worldview held by many Indigenous peoples. The school has long viewed environment-society problems as inextricably linked and, that to address or contribute meaningfully to such issues, an interdisciplinary focus and collaboration is needed. In teaching, research and outreach, the school actively promotes integrative and flexible approaches.
For example, water resource management involves collaboration between…. [insert a good case study to illustrate what the school does]
Academic publications (e.g. Burgess et al., 2009 in the Medical Journal of Australia), government reports and workshops on country often note that ‘Healthy country means healthy people” At Fenner, we recognise the many and diverse benefits of caring for country. We believe that addressing environment-society problems in an-holistic and interconnected manner has positive impacts that reach beyond traditional scientific domains.
Historically, the Fenner School of Environment and Society, along with its predecessors, the Departments’ of Geography and Forestry, as well as the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, has been home to a number of scholars who have made important contributions to Indigenous issues. Some examples include:
H.C. "Nugget" Coombs, one of Australian’s pioneering thinkers on Indigenous policy, was based at CRES from [get dates] and produced a number of significant research monographs including ‘A Certain Heritage’ [need the history on this – Steve Dovers?]
Deborah Bird-Rose, a leading ethnographer and environmental philosopher was also based at CRES [get dates] and wrote a number of influential books such as Dingo Makes Us Human: Life and Land in an Australian Aboriginal Culture (1992)
Professor Kerry Arabena [contact Steve Dovers for comment about Kerry’s work and time at Fenner]
In more recent times, Jessica Weir completed a PhD at the Fenner School in and her book Murray River country (2009) looking at connections has received international acclaim [get more context information].
Sue Feary, Lynette Liddle and Bhiamie Eckford-Williamson completed theses that had important implications for Indigenous land management. [get more context information].
Here at the Fenner School, we are excited about the new ANU Strategic Plan, and the directions set out by the Vice Chancellor regarding Indigenous engagement. The school actively participates in the Science RAP Committee, the ANU North Australia Forum and the National Indigenous Summer School.
More broadly, we believe that the environment-society issues, which form the core of research, teaching and outreach at the school, mean we are well-positioned to engage in emerging opportunities.
In 2016, Dr Bruce Doran and Dean Mathews were awarded the inaugural ANU Vice-Chancellor’s award for Indigenous education.
In 2017, Dr Virginia Marshall became the first scholar to be appointed under the ANU Indigenous Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships Program. Dr Marshall will based at the Fenner School and the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet).
We look forward to building on these recent achievements in coming years and playing a key role within the ANU as it refines and enhances its responsibility to Indigenous Australia in coming years.