Building sustainable and climate resilient communities through collaborative water and energy management in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Dr Cara Beal
Dr Melissa Jackson
Supply and management of essential services (water and energy) in remote Australian communities is not currently socially, environmentally or economically sustainable. Cara and Mel will present research and reflections from 7 years of applied research working with a number of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities in Qld and the NT aiming for beneficial outcomes that support the efficient use, and secure long-term supply of drinking water, build climate resilience and ensure inclusivity in remote First Nations communities. Bridging the gap between the technical and the social aspects of infrastructure and service delivery, our research has been built on foundational principles of collaboration, cultural awareness and strengths-based research as necessary to create sustainable and resilient outcomes for residents of these communities and the agencies that support them. This candid conversation will discuss the benefits of mixed methods and the challenges and rewards of balancing community and stakeholder interests for quality research outcomes. We will also weave in some of the experiences and lessons as Non-Indigenous women and researchers working in remote and isolated First Nations communities. We hope that sharing our experiences will allow for conversations and support to those embarking on transdisciplinary and applied research.