TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Lorrae McArthur

Lorrae McArthur

Lorrae McArthur
Project Leader
The North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA)

Lorrae coordinates the Indigenous Water Policy Group at the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance. She is interested in the environment (particularly animals), Indigenous natural resource management and education.

Lorrae commenced a Batchelor of Science at the University of Western Australia and finished her degree with honours at Monash University in Melbourne. Longing for warmer weather and the unique culture and environment of the wet-dry tropics, Lorrae undertook a PhD in Animal Eco-Physiology at Charles Darwin University. During her postgraduate research she studied the relationships between some species of frogs and their environment, with respect to how these amphibious creatures are able to survive the long seasonal drought-like conditions that are characteristic of the climate in the north of Australia.

Through her research, Lorrae was able to participate in a collaborative study between researchers and Traditional Owners in north east Arnhem Land that recorded some traditional knowledge and values of frogs in Yolngu culture.

In 2008 she took on the role as the Coordinator of the IWPG. In general, this role involves passing on the relevant information through the respective project networks, which are made up of local Indigenous groups, Traditional Owners, researchers, regional land councils, government, non-government agencies and other stakeholders. This position assists in providing a voice for Indigenous people so that their economic, social, cultural and environmental interests in water resource management are represented and protected. 

During the first phase of TRaCK research, Lorrae worked on two projects which aimed to improve sustainable livelihoods for Indigenous people on country – Development of a holistic sustainable Indigenous livelihoods plan for the Archer River Basin, Cape York; and the Nyikina Mangala Mardoowarra (Fitzroy River) Sustainable Livelihoods on Country Case Study.


Phase 1 Projects

Outcomes Outcomes sought were: Elucidation of economic development aspirations at a local level; Identification, capacity development and enhancement of Indigenous decision-making structures at various levels including the basin-wide level; Support of local capacity-building initiatives that contributed to sustainable Indigenous livelihoods(particularly relating to natural resource management); Exploration of other sustainable Indigenous livelihood opportunities; Facilitation of partnerships to enhance local capacity-building initiatives; and The progression of a holistic basin-wide sustainable Indigenous livelihoods strategic plan.
Outcomes Outcomes sought from this Case Study will include: