First Nations people
Increasing clean energy interest in First Nations Countries requires prioritising cultural safety, security and proficiency. If managed sensitively and respectfully, the energy transition offers a chance to bring meaningful outcomes for First Nations Peoples and revitalise their future.
First Nations’ Country is not simply an energy asset – rather, it embodies a complex system of interconnected relationships between People and Country, forming a cohesive BioCultural whole. Each Country contains a rich blend of natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial, and built capital, all of which are crucial for First Nations Communities’ self-determination and sustainable livelihoods, and to inform energy project developments.
Areas of focus
- Cultural landscapes and energy transition
- BioCultural systems, heritage and biodiversity conservation
- Community engagement and collaborative project design
- Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and asset use
- Community development and sustainability
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Impact and outcomes
- Contribution to First Nations Communities to document BioCultural systems, visions and aspirations and create a valuable framework to inform energy developments
- Development of genuine co-designed research projects that can deliver concrete effective outcomes to First Nations Communities
- Contribution to Australian State and Federal Governments to design Clean Energy Policies that incorporate First Nations demands
- Development of the Indigenous Energy Landscapes Research Network involving domestic and international organisations
Curtin University and the University of Queensland (Funded by Powerlink QLD)
Comparing High Voltage Overhead and Underground Transmission Infrastructure – First Nations Engagement
To build new renewable energy projects there is a need to upgrade or build new overhead or underground transmission lines, but each type has some challenges. Working with the University of Queensland, Curtin University gathered the latest information about the technical, economic (costs), environmental, social, and community considerations for new overhead or underground transmission lines. This project stage aims to share these findings with First Nations Communities, find out what they think about the differences between overhead lines and underground cables, and record how they would like cultural and heritage considerations included in project planning for transmission projects. It is also the project’s goal to identify any opportunities First Nations communities think might arise from such projects. The final goal is to make recommendations to help in the decision-making processes for new transmission line projects across Queensland.
Research groups, facilities and centres
Centre for Aboriginal Studies
The Centre for Aboriginal Studies contributes to Indigenous knowledge in the areas of Indigenous education, health and community management which focus on developing practical solutions to contemporary issues faced by Aboriginal Australians.
Collaborations and partnerships
Landscape Observatory of Catalonia
The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia was set up under the European Landscape Convention, which informs developments in Europe. This partnership focuses on a research collaboration to create new energy landscapes built upon place-based solutions, local people and sustainability principles.
More about the Observatory
Raquel Tardin-Coelho has recently joined Australia ICOMOS as a Full International Member. It represents the opportunity to participate in ICOMOS national committees and contribute to their related activities and deliberations, providing support to raise First Nation issues towards heritage nationally, especially concerning Energy Cultural Landscapes. Raquel is already an expert member of the ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes and has been actively contributing to landscape and heritage discussions internationally, including Energy Landscapes.