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22 August 2023 Partner Release

Three exceptional new Indigenous Research Associates will launch their academic careers through a unique collaboration between The University of Western Australia and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

The joint initiative is providing a valuable opportunity for the associates to undertake higher degrees by research while working for the UWA-hosted Resilient Landscapes Hub of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP).

Shandell Cummings, Lenore Morris and Aidan Mitchell will boost the Indigenous research capacity of Australian environmental science. Their projects will align with the Resilient Landscapes Hub’s priorities and support opportunities for incorporating traditional knowledge and cultural insights into environmental conservation.

Lenore Morris said being part of the NESP Resilient Landscapes Hub was a great opportunity to further her knowledge in western science and traditional knowledges.

“There’s so much to learn from Australia’s Indigenous peoples so I’m keen to apply our knowledges to my research where I can. I’m also excited to join the growing cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers in this space,” Ms Morris said.

UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anna Nowak said the researchers were part of an exciting partnership that demonstrated how Western and Indigenous science could work together for the broader benefit of the State and country.

“We look forward to seeing the results of their research endeavours, which will make a valuable contribution to tackling our environmental sustainability challenges.”

Dr Chris Chilcott, CSIRO’s Deputy Director for Environment, said the agency was looking forward to working with UWA.

“We’re excited about providing this opportunity for these three outstanding candidates to start their research careers with the NESP Resilient Landscapes Hub,” Dr Chilcott said.

The three new Research Associates are a significant expansion of Indigenous representation within the Resilient Landscapes Hub.

Hub Leader and UWA Professor Michael Douglas thanked the initiative partners and acknowledged the importance of having Indigenous people directly contributing to the work of the hub.

“This excellent initiative has been made possible thanks to the dedication and collaboration between CSIRO and UWA. I’m delighted that we could make this happen,” Professor Douglas said.

“It’s great to have strong Indigenous representation within the hub and staff members who can provide Indigenous perspectives to directly inform how we design and implement our research.”

Originally published by UWA


Left to right: Professor Michael Douglas (NESP Resilient Landscapes Hub, Hub Leader), Professor Samantha Setterfield (NESP Resilient Landscapes Hub, Western Node Leader), Shandell Cummings (NESP RL Hub Indigenous Research Associate), Lenore Morris (NESP RL Hub Indigenous Research Associate), Dr Brett Molony (Science Director, CSIRO ), Dr Laila Simpson (Associate Director of Research Operations, Office of Research, UWA), Oliver Tester (NESP Resilient Landscapes Hub, Indigenous Research Facilitator)

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