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Knowledge Intersections Symposium 2019

Nov 18, 2019

Services: Connecting, Knowledge Intersections Symposium

The 2019 Knowl­edge Inter­sec­tions Sym­po­sium marked the Symposium’s third appear­ance. Focus­ing on pro­mot­ing research in Cen­tral Aus­tralia, its pri­ma­ry objec­tive is to pro­vide a plat­form for researchers to con­nect with each oth­er and learn about past and ongo­ing desert research projects.

This Sym­po­sium was host­ed at the Desert Knowl­edge Precinct in Alice Springs by Desert Knowl­edge Research Insti­tute (DKRI) and Batch­e­lor Insti­tute with sup­port from Charles Dar­win Uni­ver­si­ty. The event saw 86 par­tic­i­pants engage with 28 pre­sen­ta­tions with con­cur­rent ses­sions in Desert Knowl­edge Aus­tralias Busi­ness Inno­va­tion Cen­tre and Batch­e­lor Institute’s Func­tion Room.

The Sym­po­sium pro­vid­ed a plat­form for ear­ly-career and estab­lished researchers to con­nect and share their knowl­edge, ideas and expe­ri­ences in desert research. It also pre­sent­ed the oppor­tu­ni­ty for first-time pre­sen­ters to share their work and learn about the numer­ous oppor­tu­ni­ties and path­ways avail­able to them as researchers in Cen­tral Australia.

After a Wel­come to the Precinct from Elder-in-Res­i­dence Harold Furber, keynote speak­ers Dr. Leisa McCarthy and Zania Lid­dle gave the open­ing pre­sen­ta­tion and set the tone for this year’s theme, Red Dirt Knowl­edge from the Heart”.

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Dr. Leisa McCarthy and Zania Lid­dle: Research at the inter­sec­tions: how did we get here and how do we know where to go?”

Draw­ing on their own expe­ri­ences as Abo­rig­i­nal researchers, McCarthy and Lid­dle focused on Abo­rig­i­nal iden­ti­ty and health and edu­ca­tion research. Their pre­sen­ta­tion advo­cat­ed for prac­ti­tion­ers to engage in intro­spec­tion on their prac­tice as a key mech­a­nism for both improv­ing prac­tice and mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to the body of knowl­edge in these two disciplines.

McCarthy and Liddle’s address also touched on the poten­tial of Abo­rig­i­nal-led research in Cen­tral Aus­tralia, and how diver­si­ty and shared val­ues with­in the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties could com­pli­ment future research projects, paving the road for­ward for desert research.

The Sym­po­sium then wit­nessed an address from Dr. Dan Tyson, CEO of DKA, who told the sto­ry of DKRI and its poten­tial in facil­i­tat­ing research col­lab­o­ra­tions and desert research pro­grams in Cen­tral Australia.

DKRI’s sta­tus as a reg­is­tered char­i­ty allows the organ­i­sa­tion to access fund­ing for desert research, and fur­thers its pri­ma­ry goal of con­nect­ing researchers and cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in remote and region­al Aus­tralia. DKRI’s focus areas are Place, Peo­ple and Knowl­edge, which align with the strate­gic direc­tion of DKA.

Dr. John Guen­ther from Batch­e­lor Insti­tute shared his insights on two projects he had been work­ing on, includ­ing inDigi­MOB, a Tel­stra-fund­ed project man­aged by First Nations Media Aus­tralia. inDigiMOB’s pri­ma­ry objec­tive is to pro­mote dig­i­tal inclu­sion and dig­i­tal learn­ing with­in remote First Nations com­mu­ni­ties. Draw­ing on the project’s year-two eval­u­a­tion, Guen­ther and inDigi­MOB Project Man­ag­er Ben Smede high­light­ed the project’s effi­ca­cy which is root­ed in the program’s affin­i­ty for the needs of the local community.

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Dr. John Guen­ther and Ben Smede: Lessons from an eval­u­a­tion of inDigiMOB”

Guen­ther also spoke of his col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Child Friend­ly Alice Project Team to cre­ate a com­mu­ni­ty pro­file on Alice Springs res­i­dents and their ambi­tions for chil­dren and youth in the com­mu­ni­ty. The pro­file was a pio­neer project which, not unex­pect­ed­ly, came with its share of chal­lenges, but the team’s steady efforts proved worth­while in cre­at­ing an authen­tic por­trait of the Alice Springs community.

The pro­file mapped sta­tis­tics with­in the com­mu­ni­ty against the Aus­tralian Research Alliance for Chil­dren and Youth (ARA­CY) Nest Frame­work, and pro­vid­ed rec­om­men­da­tions on using the data effec­tive­ly to address areas of growth.

The Sym­po­sium con­clud­ed with a dis­cus­sion on desert research and feed­back about the event. The response was over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive with par­tic­i­pants unan­i­mous­ly vot­ing for a con­tin­u­ing Sym­po­sium and many call­ing for a longer event spread over two days. A key con­cern for dis­cus­sants was the need for con­tin­u­ing flex­i­bil­i­ty to fur­ther the Symposium’s objec­tive of sup­port­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty and inclu­sive­ness in Cen­tral Aus­tralian research.

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Dis­cus­sion: What do we do with all this knowledge?”

The dis­cus­sion also high­light­ed the mag­ni­tude of the Sym­po­sium with par­tic­i­pants from many dif­fer­ent research dis­ci­plines all hav­ing some­thing to take away. Red Dirt Knowl­edge from the Heart” was suc­cess­ful in con­nect­ing par­tic­i­pants with back­grounds in Indige­nous stud­ies, engi­neer­ing, dig­i­tal inno­va­tion, edu­ca­tion, health and med­i­cine, but with a com­mon goal: to sup­port and learn about research in Cen­tral Aus­tralia, and work towards a stronger remote Australia.


Tags: DKRI , Connecting , KIS19

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