Desert Knowledge makes $34m funding bid

Aboriginal Art Directory | 07.11.09

The Desert Knowledge Co-operative Research Centre is hoping three projects aimed at understanding and responding to the needs of remote Aboriginal people will help it secure long-term funding.

The projects are part of a new bid the centre is making in Canberra later this month, after being overlooked for continuing Commonwealth funding earlier this year.

The centre's Jan Ferguson says one of the proposals involves investigating the connection between health, wellbeing and education levels in Aboriginal communities, with the aim of improving economic participation.

"The productivity commission which measures Indigenous disadvantage and COAG [the Council of Australian Governments], where they're trying to make a difference in closing the gap, are both requesting more and more information which we are well-placed under this program to gain funding to provide for them to enable them to make better policy decisions," she said.

The centre is applying for $34 million in Commonwealth funding to become a Co-operative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation.

Ms Ferguson says the board will be making a presentation on the projects in Canberra later this month, including Aboriginal population mobility and Aboriginal art economies.

"Because of our remoteness and the sparseness of our population, we get some good quality science from the likes of CSIRO and the Centre for Appropriate Technology," she said.

"But we need more really good excellent science and if we get excellent science and we get the research that the bush deserves we will then actually get the outcomes that are possible as a result of understanding our problems better."


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