Building resilience in indigenous communities through engagement – a focus on biosecurity threats

Project Number


Project Type & Status


Project Leader


Alby Marsh
Linda Ford
Indigenous group

Impact Delivery Themes

Building resilience in indigenous communities through engagement – a focus on biosecurity threats

A key outcome of ‘Building Resilience in Indigenous Communities through Engagement: A Focus on Biosecurity Threats’ extension project was to socialise the Aboriginal and Maori Indigenous Engagement Models in their respective countries to audiences either responding to a biosecurity incursion or directly impacted by the incursion. This has essentially been achieved by linking the model delivery around recent plant biosecurity incursions. A secondary outcome has been the establishment of two main support reference groups: the Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) and the Industry Advisory Network (IAN).

An unexpected outcome was the up-take of the Indigenous Engagement Models by other industry sectors such as the Animal Biosecurity, Aquaculture and Fisheries, and Tourism.

The project has also achieved the following Commonwealth milestones:

  • Refined and rolled out Indigenous Engagement Models to regional Indigenous communities and near neighbours in different parts of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Encouraged remote communities to use the Indigenous Engagement Model to improve biosecurity practices.
  • Delivered 10+ community engagement workshops/sessions and continue to provide support as required.

Research Implications

The challenge is to develop a support mechanism that will allow the models to evolve and be used in fostering engagement with Indigenous communities outside of the plant biosecurity sphere. A series of support mechanisms to address this were identified such as:


  • Adapting the Aboriginal IEM for Peace Time Management (PTM) and Rapid Response Time (RRT).

  • Developing a toolkit (manual and guidelines) to accompany the Aboriginal IEM.

  • Making the Aboriginal IEM adaptable and an open source template.

  • Emphasising relationship building, especially during Rapid Response Time (RRT).

The project team would like to acknowledge all the stakeholders, reference groups, advisory networks and other project participants who provided their support, input and feedback which helped refine these engagement models into a ‘real-world engagement process’ that can be applied prior to, or during plant biosecurity incursions, as well as in other settings outside of plant biosecurity scope. 



Read the final report May 2018 



Download the Aboriginal indigenous engagement model.


Download the Maori engagement model.

Download the Final Report describing Models