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At the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA) we have a long history of delivering research on issues affecting Indigenous people and the management of their natural resources.

Our research is shaped by the needs of the people we work with and is informed by these people’s insights. It is also set in consultation with other key stakeholders including government.

NAILSMA’s role in research includes not only commissioning and managing research projects but also:

  • acting as a brokering body for research projects undertaken by Indigenous organisations and individual land owners
  • providing advice and support for research projects undertaken by Indigenous organisations and land owners; and
  • participating in or providing input to bodies responsible for setting research agendas or assessing research proposals.


NAILSMA works with many different community groups, Traditional Owners, Indigenous Ranger Groups, regional bodies, communities and Land councils. Where appropriate, NAILSMA raises awareness about the important issues that are relevant to its charter.

In some cases NAILSMA’s efforts may seek to inform or broaden the understanding of Indigenous people and their ability to look after their country their own way.

NAILSMA’s awareness raising includes developing community information materials, media articles and letters, launching research reports, writing opinion pieces and running public forums on issues of concern.

NAILSMA also joins with other organisations and individuals with similar concerns to strengthen the impact of its research findings.

Research is structured around findings from NAILSMA’s programs. Some research activities cut across all programs including Livelihoods, Indigenous Knowledge and Youth Leadership.

In addition we have a ‘critical issues’ research agenda, focusing on themes identified in strategic planning as significant for Indigenous people and therefore requiring NAILSMA to have a ‘national voice’. Current critical issues are marine management, carbon and water reform.

Research Publications

NAILSMA produces a range of publications that documents the organisation’s research and learning, and keeps supporters up to date with its work.

Research proposals and ethics approval:

NAILSMA is committed to undertaking research that is carefully planned and adheres to the highest ethical standards. Our guidelines are based on the standards as set by the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Research Events:

NAILSMA fosters dialogue through research events including, forums, seminars, conferences and workshops. For more information go to the Information Hub, Events tab.

Where to find specific research resources:

You can search for research documents under the Resources tab, on the Infomation Hub, using the filters on the right hand side of the page.

You can also find reseach documents that relate to specific programs under the Information Hub, Programs, for example: Information Hub, Water Resource Management - Information and Links, and Information Hub, Carbon - Publications and Links.