Dear all


To encourage participation at the IAG conference in Adelaide 2016 of Indigenous geographers – Indigenous early career geographers, Indigenous research collaborators and Indigenous postgraduate students - we have secured some funds from the Institute of Australian Geographers to subsidise travel costs and participation.


If you would like to apply for these funds please email an Expression of Interest to by March 17. In the EoI please let us know how many participants are coming, from where and a basic budget of costs.


Please note that conference abstracts are due March 11 and early bird registration closes 13 May. Postgraduate students must also apply for IAG Postgraduate funding support.


You may have seen on the IAG-list the CFP for sessions that the IPKR Study group is involved in for 2016. Details below if you missed that initial email.


Looking forward to seeing you in Adelaide,


Jess McLean and Sandie Suchet-Pearson




Please submit conference abstracts here: Also, please do contact session organisers if you have any questions about the proposed sessions. 


Session details:


Indigenous Peoples & Resource Extraction


Study Group alignment: Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights Study Group and the Critical Development Geography Group

Session organisers: Cathy Howlett, Natalie Osborne and Paul Hodge


Two contradictory trends currently affect Indigenous engagement with global resource extraction: increasing pressure to gain access to Indigenous lands to satiate increasing demands for resources, and an ever increasing focus, at the international level, on the rights of Indigenous Peoples to have consent over what occurs on their lands. In Australia and elsewhere, the evidence suggests that this international trend is not having a substantive impact on the regulation of extractive industries at the national and state scale – this is particularly noticeable in the emerging field of unconventional extraction (e.g. coal seam gas). This is in concert with the neoliberal tendency towards withdrawal of the State and the concomitant outsourcing of obligations to protect and uphold Indigenous rights to the corporate sector, via mechanisms like ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) policies and ‘social license to operate’ (SLO). How do these changing practices influence resource-led development and consultation practices? Thus the contemporary milieu of energy development in Australia and elsewhere, demands renewed exploration of Indigenous responses to and experiences of these changing dynamics.

In this session, we aim to bring together people working in development studies and Indigenous studies to critically reflect on these tensions and trends, and discuss empirical evidence of what is happening ‘on the ground’ with respect to Indigenous peoples and extractive industries. Potential topics may include:


 Critical evaluations of CSR and SLO and how they are operationalised in negotiations over extractive industries with Indigenous Peoples.

Explorations of Indigenous peoples’ responses to these changing dynamics, including corporate-led responses to obtaining consent for development and the withdrawal of the State, and how these dynamics may be engaged with, contested, and/or transformed.

The intersections between Native Title, customary land rights, CSR and SLO and extractive industries.

How dominant constructions of indigeneity affect the politics of extraction and negotiation processes.

What resource exhaustion, market volatility and ‘busts’ may mean for Indigenous communities who depend on extractive industries and associated regulatory regimes.



Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights within the Academy: Examining University Teaching and Administrative Practice


Study Group alignment: Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights

Session organisers: Sandie Suchet-Pearson, Jess McLean, Sarah Prout


Many Australian universities are becoming increasingly proactive (and in some cases prescriptive) about processes to ‘Indigenise’ teaching content across curricula and to institutionalise mechanisms for recognising the rights, knowledges, and interests of Indigenous peoples in higher education institutions. This is an exciting step challenging the Eurocentrism of our institutions, yet at the same time, significant barriers remain to the full participation of Indigenous students and scholars in our universities and Eurocentric knowledges and practices still dominate. Indeed many non-Indigenous scholars are being tasked with ‘Indigenising’ curriculum but may lack the capacity, experience, knowledge and/or will to do so adequately and appropriately.


This session centres around a mini keynote presentation by Professor Michelle Trudgett, an Indigenous scholar from the Wiradjuri Nation in New South Wales and Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges (CAIK) at UTS. CAIK’s core business focus is on the implementation of Indigenous Graduate Attributes (IGA) at UTS. We invite short presentations that speak to one or more of the challenges and/or opportunities that emerge for geographers within this context. We welcome papers that address specific issues of pedagogy, as well as those that highlight best practice in engaging with the broader tensions and processes, from the institutional to the individual scale. This session will run as a hybrid paper/panel session, with the short individual presentations following the keynote and inspiring an interactive Q and A with all presenters in a roundtable format.


Decolonising the City


Study Group alignment: Urban Geography and Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights Study Groups

Session Organisers: Libby Porter and Louise Crabtree


Cities are intrinsically important to colonial processes and power relations. They are home to key sites of imperial power, they spatially concentrate processes of colonial dispossession and disavowal, they reorganize and reconstitute changing postcolonial social relations, and present new opportunities for anticolonial resistance and resurgence. Understanding urban process as bound up in the changing dimensions of imperial and colonial domination is therefore crucial, and yet often overlooked.


This session examines the diverse ways the city is actively engaged in the production and shaping of colonial relations both in historical and contemporary terms. The session will attract papers from a range of colonial and postcolonial contexts globally and particularly encourages Australian urban scholars to engage with questions of colonialism and decolonization. The focus of the session will be on the theoretical, methodological and practical dimensions of forging a decolonizing ethics for urban geographical knowledge and practice.


Contemporary research in Indigenous peoples' rights and knowledges


Study Group alignment: Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledges and Rights Study group

Session organisers: Sandie Suchet-Pearson and Jess McLean


This session invites researchers to share and discuss their current research engaging with Indigenous peoples’ rights and knowledges. We welcome contributions which foreground the inspiring work Indigenous peoples are doing asserting their rights and knowledges, which grapple with the challenges of conducting ethical work in power laden contexts, which research the ‘post’colonial processes constraining decolonising processes, and which challenge conventional understandings and assumptions in geography and elsewhere to open productive spaces of engagement and transformation.