Study in East Arnhem Land and Borneo

Study in East Arnhem Land and Borneo

Engaged research and teaching

In the Department of Geography and Planning we are very proud of the work we do engaging with people and places across Australia and the Asia-Pacific. We bring our research and teaching together in these spaces – doing our best to ensure our research is of benefit to the people and places we work with and ensuring that our students learn from, and have opportunities to contribute to, our cutting-edge research.

Field research in Borneo and East Arnhem Land

In session 2 each year, students enrolled in Human Geography in Action (GEOP380), our third year human geography capstone unit, have the opportunity to conduct field-based research.

Through the Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) program, students can conduct applied research in either Sabah, a province of Malaysian Borneo, or in Bawaka, a Yolngu Indigenous homeland in North East Arnhem Land, Australia.

Indigenous rights in Borneo

In this field-based research, you’ll be working with the Indigenous rights’ organisation PACOS Trust in Sabah. Students work on Indigenous rights issues, undertaking projects of use to PACOS and the Indigenous communities involved, including land use mapping and documenting of Indigenous knowledges.

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Students conducting research with Indigenous people, Borneo

Indigenous self-determination and knowledge sharing in North East Arnhem Land

Students can, alternatively, choose to spend 8 days in northern Australia, working with Indigenous communities on issues regarding cultural tourism, knowledge sharing and environmental management.

Student engagement opportunities in northern Australia build on a long-term research relationship department staff have with Bawaka homeland in North East Arnhem Land. Working closely with Yolngu co-researchers and Bawaka Country, Sandie Suchet-Pearson and Kate Lloyd are part of the Bawaka collective which has worked on Indigenous self-determination and sharing of knowledges with multiple audiences. The collective have co-authored two books together, Weaving Lives Together in Bawaka and Welcome to my Country. In 2016 Laklak Burarrwanga, a Yolngu elder and leader of the collective, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Macquarie University.

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Students and local Indigenous people cleaning up in North East Arnhem Land.

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Macquarie University students and staff returning to the classroom following research activity in North East Arnhem Land.

In GEOP380 students also have the option to undertake a range of Sydney-based research projects including urban sustainability, place-making, and social and environmental planning.

Across the department our staff are strongly engaged in collaborative, field-based research ensuring our teaching deals with some of the most critical development, planning and sustainability issues confronting people and places across Australia and the Asia-Pacific, such as climate change adaptation, land and forest rights, housing, changing relations with wetlands, flood histories, water cultures, low-carbon transitions, and more. Find out more about research in the Department of Geography and Planning.

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