PhD Seminar: Journeying from the bush to the internet and back: Exploring the role of social enterprises led by Aboriginal women in Australia's bush products sector

Substantial research has demonstrated that women in rural areas, including Indigenous women can benefit from their participation in the commercialization of natural resources while maintaining traditional practices and contributing with the goals of sustainable development. In the Australian context, Indigenous businesses have emerged in various sectors over the years, including those that use natural resources as the basis of ingredients for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products (or bush products). However, few studies have explored aspirations and mechanisms used by Aboriginal women to develop enterprises in this space. Nor has there been much research that considers women’s perspectives and the resulting benefits and challenges of their participation.

In her PhD, Giselle argues that Aboriginal women are effective managers of natural resources, creating innovative ways (such as natural resources-based vale chains) to enhance their socio-economic status. However, we need to focus on women aspirations, fostering culturally appropriate and female-focused approaches. Giselle is exploring the role of two social enterprises in two very contrasting landscapes in Australia, in the Northern Territory and in New South Wales. She will document on these women’s journeys while uncovering the methodological interface of PAR, feminist research, and Indigenous research methodologies.


About the Speaker

Giselle is a Peruvian Mestiza, a person with Indigenous American and Spanish ancestry. She is a passionate forester that completed a bachelor’s degree in forest engineering at the UNALM-Peru, and a Master of Science in forest resources (Ecosystem’s Conservation) at the University of São Paulo-Brazil. Giselle has experience working with non-governmental organizations, mainly with ICDP (Integrated Conservation and Development Projects). As a forester practitioner, she worked closely with Indigenous people in the central Amazon rainforest of Peru, aiming to tackle problems as illegal deforestation, and exploring economic alternatives such as the non-timber forests products markets. Giselle is interested in continuing to collaborate with Indigenous peoples, and especially with Indigenous women, providing safe spaces and platforms for their community-led and individual initiatives in the space of Women, Culture and Development.