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Farrier, David D.

Faculty Member

  • Honorary Fellow - School of Law
  • Honorary Fellow - Faculty of Business and Law

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>I am trained as a geographer: geo-grapher, earth-writer. In 2017 my lyric essay on freediving, grief and loss, ‘<a href="https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/current-issue/4100-2017-calibre-essay-prize-winner-salt-blood" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Salt Blood’</a> won the <a href="https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/prizes-programs/calibre-prize" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Calibre Essay Prize</a>. This work connects an intimate personal story with reflection on our place in the world. It has been showcased in a <em>TEDx</em> <em>Wollongong</em> talk (2018); an interview on Richard Fidler’s national ABC <em>Conversations</em> podcast (2017, ~200,000 downloads); and numerous radio and print media interviews. The work was included in two national ‘best of’ collections in 2017: <em><a href="https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/best-australian-essays-2017" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Best Australian Essays 2017</a></em>; <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-michael-adams-rpt/9233856" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABC <em>Conversations Best of 2017</em></a>. The essay itself has been downloaded by readers more than 20,000 times.</p><p>Reflection on the privilege of my learning from Indigenous and vernacular communities led me to research on nature and the human search for meaning. This approach, using deeply personal immersion research expressed in innovative forms, enables open and creative communication with broad public and specialist audiences. I use ethnographic and immersion research to study hunting and death, animals and the sacred, freediving and loss, and connections to place. Insights in all of these areas underscore my debt to Indigenous teachers. While I also publish in conventional academic formats, it is narrative non-fiction and other creative writing that has significantly extended my research impact and engagement.</p><p>My work ranges from global environment and heritage policy to personal and autoethnographic analysis. Impacts consequently embrace the specifics of detailed conservation policy through to contributing to national public cultural conversations. Much of my work has been collaborative with Indigenous and other local communities, conducted in partnership with other researchers, government agencies and NGOs in Australia, Sweden and India. Since 2001, my research has provided evidence of the critical importance of Indigenous relationships to environment in responding to Australian and international environmental challenges. This research has raised awareness and influenced public, agency and academic understanding of issues spanning the recognition of Indigenous culture and rights, to nuanced approaches to grief and loss, and their linked significance.</p><p>My analyses and recommendations on environment policy highlight the unique contribution and relevance of vernacular and Indigenous knowledges and practices, and the social and environmental justice aspects of that recognition. Developed from previous professional work in national park agencies, environment NGOs and Aboriginal organisations, this research has raised awareness with conservation managers, Indigenous leaders and the public. These team projects have had practical outcomes including delineating the precise boundaries of national parks (Cape York 2002); influencing park policy on Aboriginal burning (Uluru 2014); influencing state government policy on Aboriginal land claims (NSW NPWS 2001); and developing international best practice on Indigenous approaches to conservation (<em>IUCN</em> 2011, <em>World Parks Congress</em> 2014).</p>

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>I am trained as a geographer: geo-grapher, earth-writer. In 2017 my lyric essay on freediving, grief and loss, ‘<a href="https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/current-issue/4100-2017-calibre-essay-prize-winner-salt-blood" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Salt Blood’</a> won the <a href="https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/prizes-programs/calibre-prize" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Calibre Essay Prize</a>. This work connects an intimate personal story with reflection on our place in the world. It has been showcased in a <em>TEDx</em> <em>Wollongong</em> talk (2018); an interview on Richard Fidler’s national ABC <em>Conversations</em> podcast (2017, ~200,000 downloads); and numerous radio and print media interviews. The work was included in two national ‘best of’ collections in 2017: <em><a href="https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/best-australian-essays-2017" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Best Australian Essays 2017</a></em>; <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/conversations-michael-adams-rpt/9233856" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABC <em>Conversations Best of 2017</em></a>. The essay itself has been downloaded by readers more than 20,000 times.</p><p>Reflection on the privilege of my learning from Indigenous and vernacular communities led me to research on nature and the human search for meaning. This approach, using deeply personal immersion research expressed in innovative forms, enables open and creative communication with broad public and specialist audiences. I use ethnographic and immersion research to study hunting and death, animals and the sacred, freediving and loss, and connections to place. Insights in all of these areas underscore my debt to Indigenous teachers. While I also publish in conventional academic formats, it is narrative non-fiction and other creative writing that has significantly extended my research impact and engagement.</p><p>My work ranges from global environment and heritage policy to personal and autoethnographic analysis. Impacts consequently embrace the specifics of detailed conservation policy through to contributing to national public cultural conversations. Much of my work has been collaborative with Indigenous and other local communities, conducted in partnership with other researchers, government agencies and NGOs in Australia, Sweden and India. Since 2001, my research has provided evidence of the critical importance of Indigenous relationships to environment in responding to Australian and international environmental challenges. This research has raised awareness and influenced public, agency and academic understanding of issues spanning the recognition of Indigenous culture and rights, to nuanced approaches to grief and loss, and their linked significance.</p><p>My analyses and recommendations on environment policy highlight the unique contribution and relevance of vernacular and Indigenous knowledges and practices, and the social and environmental justice aspects of that recognition. Developed from previous professional work in national park agencies, environment NGOs and Aboriginal organisations, this research has raised awareness with conservation managers, Indigenous leaders and the public. These team projects have had practical outcomes including delineating the precise boundaries of national parks (Cape York 2002); influencing park policy on Aboriginal burning (Uluru 2014); influencing state government policy on Aboriginal land claims (NSW NPWS 2001); and developing international best practice on Indigenous approaches to conservation (<em>IUCN</em> 2011, <em>World Parks Congress</em> 2014).</p>
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