Research Programs

The Sector Transformation research program will draw on case studies from Programs 1-3 to identify barriers and to use as examples of best practice to extract general solutions. The approach will be:

  1. Review current and historical practice and identify challenges, knowledge gaps and exemplars of best practice.

  2. Research in natural resource management, IP and economic development, including policy and governance to address knowledge gaps.

  3. Generate 'solution packs' that embed existing and new knowledge into decision support tools which use evidence from previous best practice and new research and align with the needs of case studies.

  4. Cross-link Programs1-3 by developing an education and training framework and materials drawing on experts in education pedagogy, Traditional Knowledges systems and best practice in place-based and skills-based education.


Key activities will focus on:

  • Policies and systems for land and water management 

  • Decision making tools to support communities to make best use of assets and address barriers to growing businesses 

  • Indigenous IP and Knowledges 

  • Market forcasting, analysis for trends and opportunities, consumer preferences and access to markets

  • Cross-program education, training and knowledge sharing 

Program 1: First Foods, Fisheries and Botanicals 

Leads: Professor Andrew Lowe, 
University of Adelaide and
Suzanne Thompson, ANFAB Chair

© Soo Chung


The Green Industries research program will enable the development and utilisation of natural and renewable energy resources to maximise the economic and social benefits for Indigenous communities. It will co-develop and co-design methodologies to assess opportunities and benefits of ecosystem services economies including carbon farming, abatement, sequestration and biodiversity, and check their feasibility with the market.


Case studies will be conducted in regions where Indigenous peoples have rights and access to land and other resources to commence or expand green industries.

Key activities will focus on:

  • Frameworks and methodologies to support innvoative Indigenous economies

  • Networks with national and international market agents and organisations 

  • Models for community-led renewable power generation, distribution and green hydrogen

  • Construction and asset management of renewable energy remote area power systems (RAPS) 

  • Policies to facilitate the implementation of proposed green economies 

© Will Turner

Program 4: Sector Transformation 

Leads: Associate Professor Brad Moggridge and Professor Lain Dare, University of Canberra


The First Foods, Fisheries and Botanicals research program will create foundations for the sector to thrive and deliver place-based projects to address technical challenges for growing, harvesting and catching first resources. It will develop processes for businesses to gain approvals or certification, for example, FSANZ registration, TGA approval, evidence of production or use history to establish geographical indicators.


South Australian Museum will develop stories for the top 100 first foods to overcome barriers for consumers due to lack of knowledge

and understanding.


Ecologically synergistic horticultural practices to increase production volume and meet supplier demand, and technologies for value­ adding, processing and aquaculture will be developed via trials at the sites of partners such as Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm (WA), Pundi Produce (SA) and Rainforest Bounty (Qld). These will be living labs for students, researchers and industry.


Supply chains for the top 25 products will be mapped with partners, such as ANFAB and FRDC, to enable industry to realise market potential and optimise supply.

Key activities will focus on:

  • Provenance and certification 

  • Wild harvest and catch 

  • Production methods and agronomy 

  • Markest and value-add technologies 

The Service Industries research program will develop a consultation framework to facilitate the co-design of solutions to challenges in the Service Industries, whilst avoiding consultation fatigue. Topics for exploration include: visibility of Indigenous businesses, lack of quality data, markets in need of re-shaping, and requirements for tailored training and partnerships that elevate and empower Indigenous leadership in the economy.


Service industries are one of the lowest paid sectors in Australia. Our program will seek to break down income barriers by increasing recognition and value of cultural knowledge by examining successful projects, for example, The Tasmania Project and Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm.

Key activities will focus on:

  • Heritage and traditional knowledge

  • Creative and cultural industries

  • Tourism industries 

  • Aboriginal enterprise and empowerment 

Program 2: Service Industries 

© Cassie Matias

Leads: Professor Greg Lehman and Professor Elizabeth Lester, University of Tasmania


Program 3: Green Industries 

Leads: Professor Suresh Thennadil and Dr Kamaljit Sangha,Charles Darwin University