Topic: Briefing report on Indigenous Australians

Topic: Briefing report on Indigenous Australians
Pages: 7, Double spaced
Sources: 10

Order type: Coursework
Subject: Art

Style: APA
Language: English (U.S.)

Order Description


Briefing Report
Goal: Your major assignment is to write up a full and final description of your research in a briefing report. The purpose of this briefing report is to:
? Demonstrate your understanding of the material presented in this subject. Therefore, make sure your response to your topic allows you to demonstrate this understanding.
? Further encourage the development of a range of written communication, research and analytical skills that can be applied in a professional setting.
What is a Briefing Report?
A useful briefing report distils often complex information into a short, well-structured document. Briefings, whether in the form of brief reports, longer briefing reports, or oral briefings, are used to keep decision makers informed about the issues they are responsible for.

The demands of government these days are such that senior officials must constantly learn and retain information about an enormous range of topics and issues, which change rapidly. The only way they can do this is to rely on concise, clear, reliable briefings. A common duty of a policy professional is to “brief” decision makers about a particular issue, situation, or scenario. The purpose of “briefing” is to provide a clear and concise exposition of the situation or issue, and recommendations for action.

What are the characteristics of a good Briefing Report?
A well-prepared Briefing Report (BR) effectively and efficiently provides information on an issue. The most valuable BR is clear, concise and easy to read. To succeed, a briefing report should be:

? short: whereas your other assessments may require high word limits, in this case always keep your brief short while still addressing the key issues
? concise: a short document is not necessarily concise; concise means every word is used as efficiently as possible
? clear: keep it simple and to the point; always keep your reader firmly in mind and include only what matters to that reader
? reliable: the information in a briefing report must be accurate, sound, dependable, and backed up by reliable literature sources; any missing information or questions about the information should be pointed out
? balanced: the BR should not be one-eyed and should recognise a range of perspectives
? readable: use plain language and design your BR for maximum readability

How is a Briefing Report structured?
Briefing reports often follow a standard format, but there are many variations on that format. A good briefing, including yours, should include:
1. a clear statement of the topic should consist of a brief and short summary of the issue (one paragraph);
2. a clear identification of the key findings of your research
3. a relevant and brief background to the issue(s) (1-3 paragraphs). The details the reader needs in order to understand what follows (how a situation arose, previous decisions/problems, actions leading up to the current situation). Typically this section gives a brief summary of the history of the topic and other background information. What led up to this problem or issue? How has it evolved?
4. A briefing of the current situation: a concise analysis of the issues (3 -4 paragraphs). Describes only the current situation, who is involved, what is happening now, the current state of the matter, issue, situation, etc.
5. conclusions & recommendations for action, which may include your opinion, backed up by evidence and support (1-2 paragraphs); any “annexes” or appendices with supplementary information (for example a table of statistics or a map) that you feel the decision maker might find useful but which is not necessary to an understanding of the issue.

On my folder there is a template for your briefing report. Make sure that you download this template, follow the instructions and insert your text (and other information) into this template. There is also an article by McKendrick that will guide you in writing your research paper:

McKendrick, J. H. (2003) Writing Research Briefing Reports, Journal of Geography in Higher
Education, 27:2, 217 — 226

Writing the Briefing Report:

Here is the research question: How, and to what extent does the Australian government consider the rights and interests of the Aboriginal communities in the national legal and statutory frameworks for Protected Areas?

To help you start, use your research question that you posed for Assignment 2 ( I have also also attached my second assignment as required). Before even doing further research, expand on that question to write your summary introduction paragraph in essay form. This will (1) help you focus on where you need to put your energy when researching sources, and (2) help you feel more confident that you know exactly what you will be briefing on.

For example:
This report will investigate the effectiveness of the integration of Indigenous dugong hunting and management practices with non-Indigenous management programs. Dugongs (in particular their hunting) are culturally significant to some groups of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At issue is the decline in dugong populations and their status as a species vulnerable to extinction, which means there is bound to be some conflict between Indigenous practices and non-Indigenous or governmental management practices. This is an interesting issue in light of the fact that the Australian government has recently been working towards a policy of greater co-management between the State and traditional land owners, and the effectiveness of the integration of Indigenous and non-Indigenous dugong management will be an important case study in that process.

This opening paragraph would help you focus on the fact that you need to find out about (a) cultural significance of dugongs, (b) causes of decline in dugong populations, (c) governmental management programs including co-management. From this, you can structure your literature search.

Once your question is formulated and sources found, you will follow the format given above. This includes writing recommendations. You are welcome to use well-reasoned, evidence-based opinions in these recommendations. The final recommendations are what most readers (in the “real world”) want –sure you do not treat them as an after-thought!
The aim of this literature review is to investigate the how and to what extent the government of Australia considers the rights of the indigenous communities in relevant legal frameworks that manage protected areas. The literature reviewed secondary data from various secondary materials obtained from academic databases. The literature review noted that the Australian government, to a large extent, considers the rights and interests of the indigenous populations in relevant statutory frameworks that safeguard protected areas. Today, the government has estasblished joint management of various protected areas, recognized the native title of Aboriginal communities, estasblished memorandum of understanding with local tribes, and has provided numerous educational and employment opportunities to the Aboriginal people in various protected areas. This way, the government has considered and actively engaged the Aboriginal communities in the management of protected areas.
Research Question
How, and to what extent does the Australian government consider the rights and interests of the Aboriginal communities in the national legal and statutory frameworks for Protected Areas?
The relationship between community land rights and protected areas is essential for the promotion of both human rights and the conservation of biodiversity in not only Australia but also the world at large. Borrini, Kothari and Oviedo (2004) indicate that the critical relationship between protected areas and indigenous communal land rights is significant for human right promotion because the land and its natural resources are essential to the survival, livelihood, identity and cultural heritage of the indigenous and local communities. Borrini, Kothari and Oviedo also note that the relationship between the two variables is important for the conservation of biodiversity because of the numerous contributions made by indigenous communities towards managing the Earth’s ecosystem and species. Borrini, Kothari and Oviedo indicate that securing rights and interests of indigenous communities to land and relevant resources is essential in ensuring that the contributions mentioned above continue. Noteworthy, securing such rights will ensure that the communities exercise and apply their indigenous knowledge and management systems to managing the ecosystem, defend the ecosystem against various internal and external threats, and govern the ecosystem to meet the current and long-term needs of the present and future generations. This paper seeks to present a literature review about how the government of Australian takes into account the rights and interests of the Aboriginals in its national framework of protected areas.

Literature Review Methodology
Both electronic and manual searches of articles related to Australian protected areas and indigenous community land rights were used. Apparently, the search was conducted on various academic databases, for instance, Google Scholar, James Cook University, Research Gate to name but a few. The various keywords utilized for electronic searches included but not limited to ‘Aboriginal and Tores Island rights,’ ‘indigenous communities and protected areas,’ ‘Australian Protected Areas.’ The articles that were included in this literature review included articles published between 1990 to the year 2017. The literature review only considered articles written in the English Language. Relevant case studies obtained from James Cook library were also used in this literature review.
Joint Management
The concept of Joint management of protected areas has been used to enhance cooperation between the Australian government and the Local Aboriginal communities in managing land resources. Bauman and Smyth (2007) define the term ‘joint management’ as a legal partnership and management system that incorporates the rights, obligations, and interests of the Aboriginal communities and the wider government conservation agencies acting on behalf of the wider Australian communities. In essence, joint management arrangements often infer a trade-off between the rights of the Aboriginal communities and the interests of government agencies and the Australian community at large. In the context of important ecosystems, such as national parks, the term Joint management typically, but not always, involves the transfer a national park to the local indigenous communities in exchange for the continuity of the national park.

Bauman and Smyth (2007) denote various approaches used by the Australian government to joint management of protected areas. The various approaches used to joint management differs by Aboriginal states and territories, as well as the legal recognition of the rights of indigenous communities to their ancestral land. Bauman and Smyth (2007) indicated that where legal recognition of Aboriginal rights to their ancestral land is strong, there was active involvement of the Aboriginals to decision-making. The Aboriginals were also allowed to live and use various resources within the protected areas. However, where such legal recognition was weak or uncertain, the involvement of Aboriginals was only restricted to decision-making. However; the right of the Aboriginals to live within the protected area was constrained.
Dekoninck (2007) gives various key case examples of joint management of various national parks in the Australian community. Garig Gunak Barlu National park, an Australian national park located in the Nothern Territory, was the first Australian protected area to be co-managed. The key elements in the joint management as noted by Dekoninck (2007) and Ross, Grant, Robinson, Izurieta, Smyth and Rist (2009) included: a declaration of the national park under its legal framework, an Aboriginal owned park, a joint management of the board with four members being Aboriginal and the remaining four from the northern territory government. The joint agreement noted that the traditional owner members, coming from the Aboriginal community, would chair the Board.
The Uluru case is another example of a jointly owned national park (Lawrence, 1996; Wearing & Huyskens 2001; Bauman & Smyth, 2007). Lawrence (1996) and Wearing and Huyskens (2001) noted that the governance arrangements of the park are similar to those of Gurig national park, however, unlike Gurig, the park was leased to the national government of Australia for 99 years. A key feature of the agreement was that the Aboriginals would be allowed to live and use the resources of the park. The Aboriginals were also granted the right to manage the park in conjunction with the national government.
The Watjra national park, a park in South Australia, is another example of a jointly owned Park. The joint ownership agreement was established in the year 1985. The key members of the agreement included the South Australian government and the Aboriginal Traditional owners who were represented by the Irrwanyere Aboriginal Corporation. The Watjra agreement was similar to the Uluru agreement. However, a significant difference between the two was that Watjra National park remained under government ownership (Bauman & Smyth, 2007). In this sense, the government was the one that leased the park to the Irrwanyere Aboriginal Corporation for 99 years.
Native Title Recognition
The Joint management approaches are often centered on statutory recognition of the rights and interests of the Aboriginal people, something that resulted in government granting back Land to the Aboriginal groups. In contrast, the recognition of the Native Title results in the acknowledgment of pre-existing and continued ownership of Aboriginal land by the indigenous communities under their own customs and laws. The Native Title recognition became apparent in Mabo v Queensland judgment (Cullen 1990). In Mabo v Queensland case, the high court judge, Sir Anthony Mason, noted that a native title exists where crown wastelands have not been used, or rather appropriated (Bauman & Smyth, 2007). Typically, the recognition of a native title provides an added advantage for the local tribes to negotiate joint management (Zeppel, 2010), or rather be involved in the active management of various protected areas (Bauman & Smyth, 2007).
A critical example of the Native title can be observed in Djabugay people case (Bauman & Smyth, 2007). Bauman and Smyth indicated that the people of Djabugay were able to own the Barron Gorge National park under their native title and rights. The ownership was established after successful negotiations between ILUA and the Djagubay people. By owning the Land under a Native title, the Djabugay indigenous community was given rights to conduct their cultural practices such as hunting, fishing, camping as well as conducting relevant ceremonies in the forest. The native title also allowed for the active involvement of the Djabugay people in developing a plan of management for the park.
Memorandum of Association
The government of Australia has established several agreements with the local aboriginal groups to enhance the preservation and protection of relevant protected areas. One major type of agreement between the government and local communities exists in the form of memorandum of understanding. By definition, a memorandum of understanding refers to a non-binding agreement two or more individuals and includes the terms of understanding as well as the requirements and responsibilities of each party (Initiative 2005). Typically, memorandum of understanding between the Australian government and the Aboriginal communities represents a negotiation between government agencies and the indigenous groups to preserve some interests of the local tribes. Typically, these forms agreements are non-binding in nature and simply involves an active involvement of the local communities in decision-making within the protected areas. However, the memorandum of understanding can take a more complex form such as the improvement of previous government policies that totally reject the interests of the Aboriginal communities (Bauman & Smyth, 2007)
The Darug Peoples MOU (2007) presents a critical case example of a memorandum of understanding between government agencies and local aboriginal groups. The MOU involved an agreement between the Department of environment and conservation and the local population of Darug. The MOU was to acknowledge the strong and continuous cultural association between the people of Darug and the relevant protected areas, including the land and the sea. The primary purpose of the memorandum of understanding was to establish a critical framework through which the local Darug tribes would be involved in the management of relevant protected areas such as parks and reserves originally administered by the Department of Environment and Conservation. In addition, the memorandum aimed to protect various native objects and places that were of particular interest to the people of Darug.
Education and Employment Opportunities
The Australian government, through its departments, sought to offer employment opportunities to the indigenous communities as a way to encourage their active participation in the overall workforce governing relevant protected areas (Bauman & Smyth, 2007). In fact, the Department of Environment and Conservation launched its first indigenous employment strategy to ensure active recruitment, retention, and development of the Aboriginal community staff. The strategy was known as the Indigenous Employment and Capability Strategy, originally formed in the year 2007. The third iteration of this project began in the year 2016 and is expected to last to the year 2019. The primary outcome for the strategy is to enhance engagement of the Aboriginal and Torres Islanders to the general workforce of the department, to ensure that they recognize their connection to the land and water, to ensure effective delivery of the expected outcomes (Australian Government, 2016). Currently, the strategy aims at ensuring that 4.5% of individuals employed in the Department’s workforce are Aboriginals.
The government of Australia also aims to provide education and training to the local populations, to enhance their participation in preserving and protecting relevant ecosystems. The Darug Peoples MOU (2007) notes that in the MOU between the people of Darug and the Department of Environment and conservation, the advisory committee in conjunction with the director general would be expected to implement cultural camps and filed days to enhance sharing of knowledge within and among the Aboriginal communities. The two parties were also expected to plan and implement various training programs within the Aboriginal communities aimed at protecting, managing and conserving the ecosystem as well as the cultural and heritage values.
In conclusion, the Australian government has to a large extent taken into account the rights and interests of the Aboriginal communities in the national legal frameworks. The government has taken into account such rights and interests by enacting numerous joint management programs for managing the protected areas. Among the critical examples where the government and the local communities have jointly managed the protected areas include Garig Gunak Barlu, Uluru, and Watjir national park cases. The government has also considered the rights of the aboriginal communities by recognizing their native titles to the protected areas, thereby giving the Aboriginal groups exclusive rights to the protected areas. The government also preserves the rights and interests of the indigenous groups by enacting various memorandum of association with the local communities. Finally, the government has also offered employment and training opportunities to the local populations to enhance their abilities to protect and preserve their Ecosystem.

Australian Government. (2016). Indigenous Employment and Capability Strategy. Retrieved from
Bauman, T., & Smyth, D. (2007). Indigenous partnerships in protected area management in Australia: three case studies (pp. 95-114). Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
Borrini, G., Kothari, A., & Oviedo, G. (2004). Indigenous and local communities and protected areas: Towards equity and enhanced conservation: Guidance on policy and practice for co-managed protected areas and community conserved areas (No. 11). IUCN.
Cullen, R. (1990). Mabo v. Queensland. UW Austl. L. Rev., 20, 190.
Dekoninck, V. (2007). Deconstructing the stakeholder: A case study from Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, Australia. The International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management, 3(2), 77-87.
Initiative, R. G. G. (2005). Memorandum of understanding. RGGI. org.
Lawrence, D. (1996). Managing Parks/managing” country”: Joint Management of Aboriginal Owned Protected Areas in Australia.
Ross, H., Grant, C., Robinson, C. J., Izurieta, A., Smyth, D., & Rist, P. (2009). Co-management and Indigenous protected areas in Australia: achievements and ways forward. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 16(4), 242-252.
The Darug Peoples MOU. (2007). A Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Department Environment and Conservation and the Darug people. Retrieved from
Wearing, S., & Huyskens, M. (2001). Moving on from joint management policy regimes in Australian national parks. Current Issues in Tourism, 4(2-4), 182-209.
Zeppel, H. (2010). Native title, ILUAs and indigenous development opportunities in national parks. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual Native Title and Cultural Heritage Forum (NTNP 2010). University of Southern Queensland.