Collaborative Research Partnerships

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:

  • commissioning and managing research projects;
  • 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 and 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.

Marine turtle and dugong monitoring on Wunambal Gaambera country

The Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation's Uunguu Rangers explain how they are working together with NAILSMA and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to improve marine turtle and dugong monitoring on their country. A new way to monitor these populations has been developed by the project team using I-Tracker software.