Rachel Morgain is the Threatened Species Recovery Hub’s Knowledge Broker. She believes stakeholder engagement in vitally important to achieving hub aims.
The central purpose of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub is delivering research that is relevant for and useable by decision-makers, land managers and others responsible for recovering threatened species. Working with partners is vital if we’re to achieve this.
ver our four years of operation, our hub has worked with over 200 agencies across the breadth of the country. Our partners include Commonwealth, state and territory policy agencies, conservation and land managers, environmental NGOs, Indigenous groups, local government, community
groups and businesses.
Many of these organisations are direct partners on our projects. Others have contributed knowledge, expertise, skills or data. Still others are end-users, who seek to apply the findings of our research to inform their own contexts and challenges.
Guiding engagement at a strategic level is the hub’s Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG), which includes representatives from Commonwealth, state and territory governments, NGOs, natural resource management organisations and the hub’s Indigenous Reference Group, Leadership Group and engagement team. The SRG have a vital role in providing strategic input into our research activities and guidance into our hub’s engagement strategies.
The size and scale of the hub means that our research is relevant to much wider networks than can be involved day-to- day in our project-level collaborations. In partnership with state governments, our hub is holding roadshows in capital cities, with plans for regional areas. These provide an opportunity for audience members to hear findings from a breadth of hub research in one place and provide feedback into how project findings and knowledge from the research can be shared. They have been a drawcard for many from government, natural resource management, ecological consulting, community landcare groups and industry, many of them learning about our hub’s research for the first time.
Many of our major projects are made possible through the involvement of dozens of partners and collaborators across the country. Celebrating these major achievements through product launches is a way to showcase the work and applaud these contributions. In 2018, our hub launched two books on threatened species recovery, guidelines for plant translocation developed through the Australian Network for Plant Conservation, and Australia’s first Threatened Species Index for Australian birds (tsx.org.au).
These big events have the profile, but they are in reality just the end-point of much fuller processes of engagement, driven by a simple core principle of research co-production. The day-to-day activities of our hub’s projects are guided by the awareness that research designed, implemented and delivered with stakeholder input is almost certain to be better directed and more readily implemented than research undertaken in isolation.
For further information
Dr Rachel Morgain - email@example.com
Top image: Forums to share hub research findings and seek feedback from stakeholders are an important activity for the hub. Photo: Jaana Dielenberg
Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) Rangers in the Martu Determination have collaborated with Threatened Species Recovery Hub scientists to design a monitoring program for mankarr (the greater bilby). Martu people identified priorities for the bilby monitoring program, then worked with Dr Anja Skroblin from The University of Melbourne to co-develop a monitoring method which brings together Martu knowledge and practice with Western conservation science.
I am a proud Murri from the Kamilaroi Nation in north-west New South Wales. I grew up in western Sydney on Darug land and now live in Canberra on Ngunnawal land.
A new project is aiming to increase city kids’ connections with nature, threatened species conservation and Indigenous culture. Dr Georgia Garrard from RMIT University talks about this project, which will see Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Traditional Owners working with kids at Carlton North Primary School in Melbourne and Gunditjmara Traditional Owners working with kids at Heywood Consolidated School in western Victoria.
For the Larrakia Land and Sea Rangers, the sight of a shell midden in coastal saltpans tells a long history of culture and how their ancestors are connected with the intertidal and mangrove environment. Through a different lens, the Larrakia Rangers also see these shell middens as areas where their culture overlaps with the habitat used by the Critically Endangered migratory shorebird the far eastern curlew.
Threatened species on Indigenous land may be of prime interest to scientists and ecologists, but they are often not the species of greatest importance to the Indigenous landowners. Understanding local priorities for biodiversity is an essential step in ensuring that conservation projects are locally beneficial and supported. Researcher Tom Duncan from Charles Darwin University has been collaborating with the Tiwi Land Council and Tiwi Land Rangers to explore this issue on the Tiwi Islands.