Dr Tran Tran

Dr Tran Tran
Research Fellow, Indigenous Culture and Heritage.

Tran Tran is a research fellow based in the Indigenous Culture and Heritage team. Her research focus is how native title intersects with other areas of land and water management with a focus on the development of governance. She is particularly interested in the transition from native title recognition to the realisation of community benefit. Tran completed her PhD thesis titled 'Water is Country, Country is Culture: the translation of Indigenous relationships to water into law' in 2013 which focused on the way in which knowledge structures are translated into legal institutions in the context of water management in the Canning Basin Western Australia. Before completing her PhD, Tran worked in the Native Title Research Unit as a research fellow and managed the Native Title Representative Bodies Knowledge Management Project and PBC capacity building project. She also worked on  a project mapping values in cultural fishing. Tran is currently working on in Matuwa (Lorna Glen) and Kurarra Kurarra (Earaheedy) with the Wiluna Native Title holders and Central Desert Native Title Services and developing a practical guide to community storytelling, arhiving and repatriation.

Current research focus

  • Interlinkages between law, culture and society
  • Indigenous involvement in climate change adaptation decision making
  • Indigenous experiences of legal and institutional arrangements for land and water management
  • Sustainability of Indigenous corporations
  • Sustainability of Indigenous and non-indigenous land management relationships
  • Community governance and knowledge production

More information is available on the Indigenous institutions and climate change adaptation project page

Recent involvement


Lee, E and Tran T 2016 ‘From boardroom to kitchen table: shifting the power seat of Indigenous governance in protected area management’, Australian Aboriginal Studies 2016/2: 79-91

Tran, T Smyth, L Kennett, R Egan, H Stewart, Y Brierley, J Stewart, W Nye, A and Butler, T ‘What’s the catch? Aboriginal cultural fishing on the New South Wales South Coast’ Australian Environment Review 2016/31.

Tran, T and Stacey, C  2016, ‘Overlapping tenure, overlapping governance: conflicting roles of native title holders and community/shire councils in remote Indigenous communities’, Land, Rights, Laws: Issues of Native Title, Native Title Research Unit, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra

Tran, T and R Kennett 2016,  ‘Reclaiming Indigenous knowledge in land and sea management’ Indigenous Knowledge Forum – Comparative Systems for Recognising and Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Culture, Lexis Nexis.

Kennett, R Tran, T Heffernan, T & Strelnikow, L 2015, ‘Livelihood values in Indigenous cultural fishing: Report of a meeting with Indigenous cultural fishers on the south coast of NSW’ Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.

Tran, T and Langford, L 2015, Negotiating the shared management of Matuwa and Kurarra Kurarra, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra.

Tran, T 2015 ‘The (Non-Legal Guie to Meaningful Recognition: A Case Study from the Canning Basin Western Australia’ in Sillitoe, P (eds.) Indigenous Studies and Engaged Anthropology: The Collaborative Moment, Ashgate, 163-178.

Tran, T, J. K. Weir, L. M. Strelein and C. Stacey, 2014 ‘Indigenous governance and climate change adaptation: two native title case studies from Australia’ in Palutikof, J.P., Boulter, S.L., Barnett, J. & Rissik, D. (eds.) (2014) Applied Studies in Climate Adaptation. Wiley, Oxford, 307-315.

Strelein, L and Tran T, 2013, ‘Building Indigenous Governance from Native Title: Moving away from ‘Fitting in’ to Creating a Decolonised space’ Review of Constitutional Studies 18(1):19 -48.

Tran, T, Strelein, L, Weir, J, Stacey, C & Dwyer, A 2013, Native title and climate change: changes to country and culture, changes to climate: strengthening institutions for Indigenous resilience and adaptation, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast.

Tran, T 2009, ‘Valuing water in law: how can Indigenous cultural values be reconciled with Australia’s water law in order to strengthen Indigenous water rights?’, Journal of Water Law 20(2/3): 144–51.


Hema Hanrihan, Tran Tran and Stacey Little ‘Native Title Precedents Database’ paper presented at the National Native Title Conference Darwin, 1-3 June 2016.

Tran Tran and Stacey Little ‘Precedents Update’ paper presented at the Aurora Legal Masterclass, Perth, 19 November 2015.

Tran, T 2014, Reclaiming Indigenous knowledge in land and sea management, The Second Indigenous Knowledge Forum (IKF2): Comparative Systems for Recognising and Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Culture, University of Technology,  Sydney, 2-3 October 2014.

Tran, T & Thomas, R 2014, Strange bedfellows: collaborative management and native title in Australia’, IUCN World Parks Congress, Sydney, 12-19 November 2014 (Attachment 3; e-poster presentation viewable: wpc2014.digitalposter.com.au; code: 2929).

Tran, T, R Thomas and L Langford, ‘Matuwa and Kurarra Kurarra: using IPAs as Land Management Tools’ presented at the Wiluna MK Meeting, Wiluna, 11-12 March 2014.

Tran, T ‘About AIATSIS: co-management research project’ presented to the Matuwa and Kurarra Kurarra Workshop, Perth 14-15 October 2013.

Tran T, G. Lauder and B. Williamson ‘Co-management: challenges and opportunities’ presented to the Matuwa and Murarra Kurarra Workshop, Perth 15 October 2013.

Tran, T ‘Changes to Climate, Changes to Culture: Native Title Holder Experiences in the Kimberley and  Cape York’, paper presented at the NCCARF Climate Adaptation in Action Conference, Melbourne, 28 June 2012.

Tran, T and Weir, J ‘Changes to Climate, Changes to Culture: Reflections on Indigenous resilience and adaptation’, paper presented at the National Native Title Conference, Townsville,  4-6 June 2012.

Tran, T ‘Building Indigenous Governance from Native Title: Moving away from ‘Fitting in ’to Creating a “Decolonised” space, paper presented at the ‘How to Break out of Colonialism?’ Conference, Montréal, 17-20 April 2012.

Tran, T ‘National Water Law and Regulation: Involvement of Indigenous Peoples in water law and management’ presentation to the Water Law Water Leaders Program, University of Dundee, 29 June 2011.

Tran, T ‘Water is Country, Country is Culture – The Role of Indigenous Knowledge in Water Governance in Australia’s Canning Basin’ poster presented at the Water Governance: Meeting the Challenges of Global Change Conference, Universitätszentrum Obergurgl, Austria, 5-10 June 2011.

Tran, T ‘Water is country, country is culture: what is the significance of Indigenous knowledge to water regulation in the Kimberley, Australia?’ paper presented at the Law for Social-Ecological Resilience Conference, Stockholm University, Sweden, 19 November 2010.

Tran, T ‘Indigenous water rights: what is the boundary between regulation and native title’, panel discussion, Native Title and the Crown – who’s land is it? Native Title Conference, Canberra Convention Centre, 1 June 2010.

Tran, T ‘Strengthening Indigenous water rights: reconciling resource and law with country and culture’ paper presented at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum, and Mining Policy PhD Seminar Series, 10 February 2010, University of Dundee.

Tran, T ‘Country and identity, resource and law: finding a place for Indigenous values in water Presentation delivered at the Indigenous Studies and Engaged Anthropology: Opening a Dialogue, 16 September 2009, Durham University.