Dr Pia Harkness, Research Project Officer, CSIRO Land & Water
What are your research interests as they relate to northern Australia?
My research interests in northern Australia relate to Indigenous governance of customary land and sea Country. This includes bringing Indigenous knowledge and western science together for decision-making – elevating the validity of Indigenous knowledges to non-Indigenous people and improving the accessibility of western science to Indigenous people.
The overarching goal of this work is to find ways to mobilise Indigenous knowledge and western science for collaborative governance of customary land and sea Country – creating opportunities for increased economic participation based on customary law and rights, and which aligns with Indigenous peoples’ own goals and aspirations.
What do you love about working in northern Australia?
Northern Australia is home, I grew up in North Queensland and have spent most of my life in various parts of Northern Australia. I care about its people, country and oceans. After living and working in other parts of Australia and overseas, I feel fortunate to contribute towards better understandings, and hopefully answers, to some of the complex human and environmental challenges my home region, for a bright future for all its people and environment. As a marine oriented person, northern Australia has some of the most pristine coasts and oceans globally, and the old living culture in the world. I wouldn’t want to live or work anywhere else!