IRG logo

In 2012, the FRDC established an Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) to assist in working towards a Fisheries Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) plan for indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with an interest in fishing and seafood were invited to two workshops to help identify key RD&E needs.

Managed by an expertise-based committee, the IRG plays a key role in leadership and strategy development and advises on allocation of subprogram funds to projects consistent with stakeholder priorities and relevant R&D plans. The IRG also oversees progress of projects under its direct management and provides technical advice to the FRDC on issues, applications and projects beyond those under its management.

Research priorities

The IRG does not have an RD&E Plan but a set of priorities guides its activities:



Primacy for Indigenous people

Indigenous people have certain recognised rights associated with and based on the prior and continuing occupation of country and water and the activities (e.g. fishing, gathering) associated with the use and management of these.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous cultural practices

Indigenous people have the right to maintain and develop cultural practices to address spiritual, cultural, social and economic needs associated with aquatic resources and landscapes.

Self-determination of Indigenous rights to use and manage cultural assets and resources

Indigenous people have the right to determine courses of action in relation to the use and management of aquatic biological resources.

Economic development opportunities arising from Indigenous peoples’ cultural assets and associated rights

Indigenous people have the right to engage in economic activity based on the use of traditional aquatic biological resources and/or the right to share in the benefits derived from aquatic biological resources.

Enhanced capacity building opportunities for Indigenous people

Indigenous people have the right to access capacity building activities to further their aspirations in the use and management of aquatic biological resources.


  • Chris Calogeras
  • Bryan Denny
  • Chels Marshall
  • Francis Parriman
  • Matt Osborne
  • Michael Gilby
  • Shane Holland
  • Stan Lui
  • Stephan Schnierer
  • Terry Yumbulul
  • Traceylee Forester

IRG Contact

Chris Calogeras, Subprogram Leader – (E:

FRDC Management Contacts

Wayne Hutchinson – FRDC Portfolio Manager (M: 0439 636 375; E:

Historic documents

Key historic documents relating to the IRG and the outcomes of two workshops held in 2012:

Related projects