Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Australia’s First Peoples’ and Threatened Species Conservation

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth, and the traditional lands of its original inhabitants the First Peoples (Indigenous people) for thousands of generations, because of their knowledge of the landscape and the species that exist. This knowledge, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) can play a part in Western Science to better understand species conservation including identified threatened species. Threatened species range across many taxa – aquatic and terrestrial species – fish and plants, also mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. There have been great advances in including TEK into western management constructs in fire ecology, astronomy, geoscience, geography and water. Threatened species conservation can be included in this as First Peoples relationship with species is being advanced through the Threatened Species Recovery Hub, and partner Universities who are working closely with Indigenous people whether that is fee for service or combining TEK and western science to better manage threatened species across the country.

About the speaker

I am a proud Murri from the Kamilaroi Nation (North-West NSW), and I grew up in Western Sydney and now live in Canberra. I am a STEMORIGINAL and have qualifications in - Masters of Science (Hydrogeology) from UTS and Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) from ACU. I am currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Canberra and part-time Indigenous Engagement Officer for Threatened Species Recovery Hub as a part of NESP. I have an ambition of leading in my area of expertise and also promoting Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (culturally appropriately) and finding commonalities between Traditional Science and Western Science so this can influence policy and the way we manage the Australian landscape, especially in the area of water.