Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive

Professor Martin Nakata

Tue, 16/11/2010 - 15:25 -- Visitor (not verified)

Professor N M Nakata is a Torres Strait Islander with extensive research experience in Australian Indigenous matters. He continues to undertake research, projects and fieldwork in communities across Australia and in various collaborations with state and national institutions and the industry sector. He has taught Indigenous research issues for many years at the Indigenous postgraduate Summer School, and continues to supervise and mentor PhD students.

In recent times, he has progressed much work in areas of Indigenous knowledge management, Indigenous protocols, and Indigenous rights management in digital environments. He is currently undertaking work for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to develop a research protocol for scientists undertaking fieldwork in the Torres Strait Islands.



A national survey of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols for Libraries, Archives and Information Services (Byrne, Garwood, Moorcroft, and Barnes, 1995) in Australian libraries, followed by case studies in a select number of libraries.

This project concerns a series of good practice protocols by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Library and Information Resources Network (ATSILIRN) in 1995. The Protocols were developed to guide libraries, archives, and information services to:

• Interact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the communities which the organisations serve, and
• Handle materials with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content.

A literature search indicates that a number of organisations (both LIS and non-LIS based) refer to the protocols but there is no evidence of any research conducted into the relevance and application of the protocols at an institutional level.

A research team at the University of Technology Sydney, endorsed by ATSILIRN, conducted a study into the practical implementation of the protocols across Australia. All relevant library, archive and information service institutions were invited to take part in a national survey. The researchers will follow this up with a study of innovative or exemplary practices to further assist institutions in applying the protocols.

It is anticipated that the research will be used to compile a number of reports covering but not limited to:

• Relevance of the protocols at local, regional and national institutions
• Issues and concerns of institutions relating to Indigenous issues.

Papers are also planned for national and international conferences with the aim of enlisting support for a consistent approach to Indigenous materials held in libraries, archives and information services.