Women caring for Country on the frontier: a collaborative case study with Waanyi and Garawa peoples

  • Van Wezel, Katherine Petria (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Project Details


This project aims to support meaningful cross-cultural collaboration with women caring for Country within Australia’s settler colonial context, by providing a critical understanding of Waanyi and Garawa women’s struggle to manage gendered landscapes in the south-west Gulf of Carpentaria. Through a Participatory Action Research methodology, it explores the question: how does settler colonialism shape cross-cultural collaboration with women caring for Country in the Waanyi and Garawa case study?
This investigation illustrates how Waanyi and Garawa peoples continue to maintain reciprocal relationships with their sentient Country, and experience today’s environmental destruction as a direct consequence of their removal from Country. The gendered impacts of this ongoing dispersal shape the role women see for themselves in healing their Country. This research also demonstrates how cross-cultural caring for Country partnerships can actually perpetuate the gendered oppression of Aboriginal peoples. Finally, it highlights the collaborative action Waanyi and Garawa peoples are taking to decolonise gender relations within these partnerships.
This case study calls for critical engagement with the marginalization of the practices, understandings, knowledges, and values of Aboriginal women who care for Country. This project’s findings imply that cross-cultural collaboration can be an opportunity to support women as sovereign experts of their own Country, and to renew and develop the connectivity between Country and its people that allows for its care.
Effective start/end date16/03/15 → …


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