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JUNE 2015
Ninti One Logo - Innovation for Remote Australia
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Remote Diary  /  Publications  /  Contact Details

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As we expected, quite a few things have progressed that will help us to achieve our core objective of ‘building opportunities for people living in remote Australia through research, innovation and community development. I’m referring mostly to the national review of the CRC Programme and the announcement of a new CRC for Developing Northern Australia in the White Paper.  This new CRC is aligned with our operations in the remote areas of northern Australia – especially our work on small and medium sized enterprise (SME) development and the important social underpinnings that build resilient communities in the north. According to the White Paper ‘over 1.3 million people live in the north, including almost 30 per cent of Australia’s Indigenous population (over 190,000 people). The majority of people in northern Australia live along the coastline in Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Darwin. Outside these major regional centres, most of northern Australia is sparsely settled’.
Our Deputy Chair, Glenise Coulthard, Linda Cooper and I attended the CRC Association conference recently held in Canberra at Parliament House. The conference gave all CRCs the opportunity to hear directly from Minister MacFarlane on the future of the CRC Programme post the Miles Review outcomes. We are confident that our CRC for Remote Economic Participation will continue in its same general form until June 2017, although we will be modifying our approach to suit the new CRC paradigm. With respect to other sources of funding, we have been entrusted with some valuable funds through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy for the Stronger Communities for Children – for work in up to 10 communities in northern Australia. We’ve also had some successes on smaller consultancies that are being funded by other agencies, such as the South Australian government’s ‘Lifetime Support Authority’ (disability services), the NT government and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade .

 Glenise Coulthard, Linda Cooper and Rod Reeve describe the significance of the CRC REP to Minister Ian Macfarlane at a Parliament House in Canberra. 

We also recently hosted a visit to the Desert Knowledge Precinct by the US Ambassador to Australia, John Berry and his delegation. Ambassador Berry announced some exciting bilateral work which will take place in remote Australia later this year.


Ambassador Berry arriving at Ninti One’s offices in Alice Springs.

One of Ninti One Limited’s directors, Tony Tate, has been honoured with a Member of the Order of Australia. This award was for significant service to the community through senior roles in service to the Jewish community – namely in welfare, advocacy and sporting organisations – and for contributions to tertiary education. Tony has been an advocate for building opportunities for people living in remote Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the pastoral industry. On behalf of the Ninti One community we thank Tony for his long-standing commitment to our organisation and congratulate him on this well-deserved accolade.

The 13th National Rural Health Conference was held 24–27 May 2015 at the Darwin Convention Centre in the Northern Territory. Its theme was People, Places, Possibilities … . The conference, attended by over 1000 people, is the largest biennial event for people who want to improve the health and wellbeing of those who live in rural, regional and remote Australia.
Ninti One’s Senior Research Officer Tammy Abbott and Aboriginal Community Researcher Lena Taylor delivered a presentation titled Aboriginal Community Researchers: promoting meaningful research outcomes in remote Aboriginal communities.
A large part of Ninti One’s research employs local community members as community researchers, including in our research about health.  The reason is simple: the results of the research are better because local people are more informed and have an in‐depth understanding of history, community, language and culture.
Presentations from the conference can be viewed here, and a full list of recommendations from the conference can be found here.
Some of Ninti One's Aboriginal Community Researchers in Alice Springs
Congratulations to Ruby Stanley and Francis Hayes, our Aboriginal Community Researchers who received awards as Unsung Community Heroes at the 13th National Rural Health Conference dinner. 
Ruby and Francis are members of the Ninti One and Brien Holden Vision Institute team working on the diabetic eye health project in Katherine.  They were recognised for their efforts to promote health and wellbeing in and around Katherine over many years. Francis’ story was also covered on the ABC here.  

Francis Hayes and Ruby Stanley receiving awards as Unsung Community Heroes at the 13th National Rural Health Conference. Photo courtesy: Glenn Campbell.
Also presenting at the National Rural Health Conference were Ninti One’s Senior Policy Advisor, Apolline Kohen, and Broadband for the Bush Alliance representative Ray Heffernan, who delivered a presentation titled The Broadband for the Bush Alliance: unlocking the digital potential of the bush.

“I am pleased to report that as a result of this presentation, the second priority recommendation coming out of the conferences is a call for the Australian Government to develop a remote digital inclusion framework and telecommunications strategy to ensure that remote and rural Australians can effectively participate in the global digital economy,” says Apolline.
The list of priority recommendations can be found here.
The annual Broadband for the Bush Forum is being held in Darwin, 15–16 July. The Forum will explore and seek practical outcomes that promote digital inclusion. Importantly, the Forum is an opportunity for remote and rural stakeholders to engage with key decision-makers to build collaboration and deliver the best possible policy outcomes.
Highlights of the program include:
  • Stories from the network’s edge – a presentation by US Facebook Director of Global Connectivity, Christopher Weasler
  • Workshops, including ‘Digital making’ for engaged learning environments by the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
  • Digital intelligence for agriculture: developments and applications – a presentation by Dr David Henry, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO
  • Making the long-term satellite service a reality – a presentation by Gavin Williams, General Manager, Fixed Wireless and Satellite, NBN Co.

Full program details are now available here


The ‘No Smokes’ campaign is a government-funded health initiative that aims to reduce tobacco use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. No Smokes engages with young people via its website and social media platforms, which host information and stories about the effects of smoking. This proactive strategy aims to assist people in making their own decisions regarding their health. 
No Smokes resources were developed by Menzies School of Health Research with funding from the Department of Health.  Management of implementing the No Smokes campaign transferred to Ninti One in mid-2014.   Between February and May, 10 training events, hosting 106 participants and 162 school students, were held across regional and remote Australia.  Nurse and cancer survivor, David Copley, assisted healthy lifestyle staff of Aboriginal controlled health organisations, youth workers and other educators to understand, navigate and use the No Smokes resources. The subsequent evaluation of the training’s effectiveness showed positive results, with a majority of the participants reporting that they found the training useful and would encourage others to take part. 
No Smokes has seen a tripling in Facebook ‘likes’ within a five-month period. This increase is due to focused social media activity, active promotion at the training events, and new content generation. The number of people visiting the No Smokes Facebook page has also been boosted, with a large percentage representing the campaign’s targeted youth demographic. The Instagram and Twitter pages of No Smokes have similarly seen increased numbers of followers. Like’ No Smokes on Facebook  or follow on Twitter and Instagram and visit the website here.
Ninti One hopes to increase this participation and interest beyond the program completion date of 30 June and is actively seeking new funding to continue this important work. 

Here's David Copley with Brooke Macey and Graham Lane
along with some great flipcharts presenting in Gosford, NSW.

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A subproject of the CRC-REP’s Climate Change Adaptation project is conducting case studies in Central Australia and Far North Queensland to find out what interventions can reduce energy costs and improve liveability in remote community art centres. The project is also looking at how well these savings can be extended to other areas of remote communities.

At the moment, air-conditioners are used to maintain comfort levels (liveability) in central and northern Australia. Yet increasing energy costs and impacts from climate suggest current approaches to maintaining liveability are unlikely to be sustainable; better ways to use energy for keeping cool will be necessary.

Art Centres are important enterprises in remote communities and are relatively accessible, which makes them useful candidates for case studies of enterprise building energy efficiency. Four Art Centres, two in Far North Queensland and two in Central Australia, have been recruited to participate in the case studies. The art centres use eleven buildings; so far the project has fitted nine of these buildings with electricity, temperature and humidity data loggers. Reports from the loggers will be given to the Art Centre managers and staff after a baseline period of several months to determine the impact of electricity consumption data feedback on behaviour.
This project is a first step towards improving energy management in enterprise buildings in remote regions of Australia. It will inform policies and provide advice for community-based enterprises in central and northern Australia.
Installing a data logger at the Wik and Kugu art centre, Aurukun
Installing temperature sensors for the external environment
Our Tourism Principal Research Leader, Dr Damien Jacobsen, has been working on two exciting YouTube projects with a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners. The aim is to share the experience and insights of remote business professionals to show how they operate to meet the needs of the business and the community and overcome the challenges of isolation.

The first video looks at ‘doing business the Aboriginal way’, consistent with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldviews about the importance of placing the welfare of land and family ahead of profit alone, and how to balance the two interests. It explores what sorts of businesses are most appropriate to their own circumstances. The second video provides tips on how to form business clusters and networks in remote regions, recognising that these are important not only to the health and mutual support of business activity, but also that they can help create a sense of unity, sharing and community pride in commercial success.

Aboriginal tourism operators discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
ways of enterprise clustering 

You can find the videos here: Doing Business Aboriginal Way and Benefits of Clusters


Kate Eccles passed her Masters candidature at UniSA. Kate is part of our CRC-REP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism project and her Masters by Research investigates how business networking can contribute to resilience for remote Aboriginal tourism enterprises. She is interested in economic development, having previously worked at Oxfam Australia and for the Victorian Government and is currently a part-time researcher at Good Shepherd Microfinance. 

More information about the project here.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples: 2015, the eighth in a series of reports that examine the health differences between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians, as well as differences by other factors such as age, sex and remoteness.
Alarmingly, this report shows that 31% of the health gap is due to socio-economic factors, such as employment, education and higher than average levels of poverty.
By increasing opportunities and understanding the barriers to education, employment and wellbeing in remote Australia, Ninti One’s research work assists in breaking the cycles of poverty, incarceration and poor mental health and in improving social and emotional wellbeing. 
Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) is pleased to announce that the 2015 TNRM Conference, the NT Natural Resource Management Awards and NT Landcare Awards will take place in Darwin, 10–12 November. Ninti One is also pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring this community-inclusive event. Download the flyer here
The Myer Foundation Innovation Fellowship is now available and provides a unique opportunity to find solutions for some of our most complex problems. The Fellowship supports Australia’s brightest, self-directed leaders to forge breakthrough solutions and articulate actionable ideas that compel our community to respond. The Myer Innovation Fellowships provide recipients with the unrestricted time and support needed to develop their ground-breaking idea into a plan for action. Fellows will each receive $100,000 for their nine month commitment to the program along with select administrative and operational support.

Expressions of Interest for 2016 Fellowships are now open and will close at midnight 13 September 2015 AEST. See more at: http://myerfoundation.org.au/grants/other-programs/mif
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Remote diary




Reports/Summary reports

Dockery AM and Hampton K. 2015. The dynamics of services, housing, jobs and mobility in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in central Australia. CRC-REP Working Paper CW023. Ninti One Limited. Alice Springs. PDF here.

Journal articles

Seet P-S, Jones J, Acker T and Whittle M. 2015. Shocks among managers of indigenous art centres in remote Australia. Management Decision. 53, 4. pp. 763-85. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/MD-06-2014-0386

Conference papers

Abbott T and Taylor L. 2015. Aboriginal Community Researchers: promoting meaningful research outcomes in remote Aboriginal communities. National Rural Health Conference. Darwin. Slideshare presentation.


Ashwell J. 2015. 'Perceptions and attitudes of international tourists towards Aboriginal tourism'. PhD. Faculty Social and Behavioural Science. Flinders University. Adelaide. pp. PDF here. 

Project updates/project materials/seminar presentations

Acker T and Woodhead A. 2015. Snapshot of the Art Economy in Remote Australia and Art Centres and Funding in Remote Australia - Infographic. Ninti One Limited. Alice Springs. PDF here.

Dockery M. 2015. Population Mobility & Labour Markets Project. Ninti Networks, The Residency. 2 June. Ninti One Limited. Alice Springs. Slideshare presentation.

Dockery M and Hampton K. 2015. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mobility in central Australia: A sneak preview of spatial dynamics in remote communities. CBS Economics Research Workshop 2015, Curtin University. 12-13 March. Ninti One Limited. The Novotel Vines, Swan Valley, Western Australia. Slideshare presentation.

 Jacobsen D. 2015. 'Benefits of clusters'. A short film from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Product project. 19 May. Alice Springs. YouTube video.

Jacobsen D. 2015. 'Doing business Aboriginal way'. A short film from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Product project. 19 May. Alice Springs. YouTube video.

Lee LS. 2015. Research Background - Biology, chemistry and genetics of Solanum centrale. Ninti One Limited. Alice Springs.  PDF here.

Lee LS. 2015. Research Background - Safeguarding Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge of Bush Tomato. Ninti One Limited. Alice Springs. PDF here.







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