The Kungullanji Research pathways program organised by the Indigenous Research Unit (IRU), Griffith University, aims at improving students’ participation and academic success by enhancing their University experience through the development of their research skills. This program is a key component of Griffith University’s strategy to ‘grow its own’ First Peoples higher degree cohort.
During the 2021-2022 Summer Kungullanji program, Dr. Gustavo Guzman of the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, together with Dr. Graeme La Macchia (Queensland College of Arts), supervised Mr. Tamas Davies to help him develop the project ‘Sleeping giant of land management – Firestick farming’. This project investigated how Indigenous Ecological Knowledge in firestick farming can support the development of bushfire management. Research findings indicated that Indigenous knowledge in firestick farming can contribute to Eurocentric bushfire management knowledge by providing alternative views about the interconnections among land, animals, weather, bushfires, and seasonal times.
This project is part of a larger research project being developed by Dr. Gustavo Guzman and a team of collaborators from Macquarie University. The ‘Managing bushfires – Complexity theory meets traditional Aboriginal knowledge’ project aims at developing an alternative bushfire management protocol by combining complexity theory with traditional Aboriginal practical knowledge on bushfire management.
Findings from this Kungullanji project will serve as a key input to advance the ‘Managing bushfires’ project. Importantly, this program brings significant benefits for participating indigenous students, including the creation of opportunities to research, improve their research skills, confidence and employability.