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Our aim is to give people the confidence to truly engage and collaborate with each other to achieve goals that benefit all. We encourage you to create your own protocols, and hope this guidebook will help you design your own detailed map for your journey.


With approximately 330 language groups and nations across Australia, this guidebook is far from a complete resource. Many groups do have shared understandings of intellectual property and cultural protocols, but differences ought to be respected. Whether you are an Indigenous person or not, you need to consult locally about what is appropriate locally.


Indigenous peoples worldwide have rights under the United Nations convention. Universities are legally obligated to engage with communities in a way that respects these rights.






The University of Adelaide gratefully acknowledges the funding provided by the Ministry for the Arts in the Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Government. This guide would not have been possible without their support.


The following people helped create this guide:

Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann (Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, Elected Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, a.k.a. AIATSIS), Sarah Kellett, Professor Jaky Troy, Vicki Couzens, Jenni Caruso, Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney, Michael Colbung, Associate Professor Veronica Arbon, Dr Michael Walsh, Stephen Atkinson, Lur Alghurabi.

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