This week, Jodi Cowdery, PhD Candidate at Charles Darwin University, is answering our questions.
Subject of my thesis:
Mining and Indigenous Livelihoods
Why this subject is interesting to me and to the community:
I live in a region where mining is central to the economy, and following the recent economic impacts of COVID-19, is being positioned as a key element to economic recovery at Territory and national levels. I am interested to understand and bring to light how Indigenous peoples and communities in the Northern Territory are benefiting from mining, considering the substantial impact it can have on their land, well-being, spirituality and livelihood. I am passionate about the complexities of consent, particularly whether it meets the definition of free, prior and informed.
What the network brought you as a researcher:
The network has considerably increased my awareness of the issues experienced at a global level, and the possible shared similarities with the experiences of Indigenous peoples and communities impacted by mining in the Northern Territory.
What is your most recent publication or communication:
I have recently joined the network and commenced my PhD research journey, and I am looking forward to adding to this list soon.
Favorite book/article related to my thesis topic:
Whilst not technically a book or article, the Yirrkala Bark Petition will always be one of my favourites. The petition was written and signed by the Yolnu people in Arnhem Land and presented to the Australian Parliament in 1963. The petition objects to the lack of consultation by Government with the Yolnu people about the taking of 300 square kilometres of their land for the purpose of bauxite mining, and voices concerns about the impact of mining on Yolnu land. Whilst the mine went ahead, the petition was significant in raising awareness of the injustices experienced by Indigenous people and is a historically and nationally significant piece of work. It is a major inspiration for my interest to undertake research in this area.