Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia

Research Locations

  • Map View
  • Grid View
Map of Australia States
Project ECHO: Health eMinds and Telehealth Skills

Project ECHO: Health eMinds and Telehealth Skills

Project ECHO The CRCNA, in partnership with the University of Queensland Centre for Online Health has developed two unique ECHO projects targeting Northern Australian healthcare workers. These are: Health eMinds ECHO Telehealth Skills ECHO Based on the Project ECHO model, we will deliver free monthly online sessions open to all healthcare professionals and staff working in Northern Australia. Project ECHO ® (Extension for Community Health Outcomes) is a virtual knowledge-sharing network designed to create a ‘learning loop’ between healthcare professionals and healthcare workers with the aim of increasing knowledge and access to quality healthcare in local communities. Project ECHO is an interactive model of collaborative learning through case discussions. In ECHO, professionals from across Northern Australia, including those in rural or under-served areas gain access to a panel of specialists through regular videoconferencing sessions. At every session, participants present de-identified cases for group discussion and gain advice from specialty experts, as well as other peers in the network. The group of multi-disciplinary healthcare workers form a community of practice, which serves as a sustainable mechanism for ongoing knowledge sharing and mentorship. Visit crcna.com.au/project-echo for all the information! Health eMinds ECHO The Health eMinds ECHO is a series of free, interactive case-based virtual mentoring sessions which address a range of topics related to the delivery of mental healthcare- in a range of healthcare settings across Northern Australia. Health eMinds ECHO sessions are open to anyone working in the delivery of mental health services in Northern Australia, including clinicians, front line and community support workers and allied healthcare workers. The CRCNA understands building a collaborative and interactive network of mental health care professionals and healthcare workers is an important part of improving service delivery and access to new models of care, especially for those in rural and remote and First Nations contexts. The Healthy eMinds ECHO is also about supporting mental healthcare workers, connecting peers and creating a community of best practice to inform high-quality care in the north. Access more information, including registration and resources for the Health eMinds ECHO Telehealth Skills ECHO The Telehealth Skills ECHO is a series of free, interactive case-based virtual mentoring sessions which address a range of topics related to the delivery of telehealth – in a range of healthcare settings. Telehealth Skills ECHO sessions are open to anyone working in healthcare in Northern Australia who are using or are considering implementing telehealth services. Access more information, including registration and resources for the Telehealth Skills ECHO

Total Project Value
$650,705.00

Finish date
01 December 2026

Aboriginal commercial fishing and aquaculture (WA)

Aboriginal commercial fishing and aquaculture (WA)

This project builds upon existing Government support structures, research and identified industry needs to develop Aboriginal ownership and participation in WA Commercial fishing and aquaculture industries. The focus of this project is threefold: De-risking new commercialisation pathways for three identified key species (sea cucumber, mud crab and black lipped rock oyster) suitable from the Northern Gascoyne waters through to the Kimberley. An introductory workshop package on commercial fishing and aquaculture opportunities (regionally appropriate) delivered to salt water Aboriginal Corporations with authorized consent to operate on native title land/water Drawing implications from the project back towards a Northern WA-wide policy and planning approach towards de-risking for Aboriginal fishing and aquaculture, consistent with the WA aquaculture development plan.

Total Project Value
$821,500.00

Finish date
30 August 2024

Business on Country: Demonstrating feasibility of developing high value products from low value herds on Indigenous land

Business on Country: Demonstrating feasibility of developing high value products from low value herds on Indigenous land

There are currently thousands of unmanaged stocks in Northern Australia which are not economically viable to muster and sell through traditional markets due to accessibility constraints, lack of transport infrastructure, because they are in dense vegetation, or they are in consistently poor condition. These animals are difficult to muster as they are usually located in areas where damage to vehicles is common and are associated with significant health and safety concerns for on-ground activities on horseback or all terrain vehicles. Current markets are in regional centres (e.g., for Cape York the closest sale yard is in Mareeba) so cattle enterprises in remote areas focus on working with larger managed herds that can be quickly processed through fixed or portable yards ensuring transport costs are minimised. As a means to resolving these challenges and creating new Indigenous-led business models, this project will conduct research which will underpin the development of new processing methods and systems to build an alternative marketplace for unutilised stock and feral animals through the development and feasibility testing of two businesses: 1.    Local production of soil bio-stimulant (feraliser) 2.    Local processing of cattle to produce ethical meat products for Cape York Peninsula (QLD) townships and for direct sales to consumers.  

Total Project Value
$1,044,000.00

Finish date
30 December 2024

Making Water Work program: Achieving reef water quality requirements in new agricultural developments

Making Water Work program: Achieving reef water quality requirements in new agricultural developments

The project will assist the expansion of agriculture in the Lower Fitzroy (Central Queensland) by bridging the support gap to meet Reef Water Quality requirements. Businesses undergoing material change use will have access to advice and land management toolkits to navigate the regulatory constraints, monitoring and record keeping practices necessary for production and operation. This mechanism for continuous improvement will assist industry and tailored to specific regional needs.

Total Project Value
$271,725.00

Finish date
30 August 2024

Cotton Grains Cattle program: North Queensland farming systems

Cotton Grains Cattle program: North Queensland farming systems

This project aims to co-design scalable diversification options and drought resilience practices for northern Queensland cotton, grain and cattle enterprises, and quantify the economic, social and environmental values and risks of these options. Whole farm level systems participatory research will examine: current farm resources and business performance co-designed time sensitive responses to drought and market volatility information and tools needed for adoption the impact of extreme climate events on productivity and sustainability the level of climate information accuracy and timeliness required for economic value how climate variability influences the risk of not adopting available solutions whole farm economic models for assessment of on-farm produced grains and/or forage crops when grown in cropping systems for cattle feed, existing environment stewardship frameworks alignment with north Queensland mixed farming systems, agri-business and community regional development vision and what are appropriate stewardship guidelines and self-assessment options for balancing the costs, legislation, social license and value chain demand and opportunities?

Total Project Value
$8,256,982.00

Finish date
31 October 2026

Black Jewfish: a new candidate for aquaculture in Northern Australia

Black Jewfish: a new candidate for aquaculture in Northern Australia

Closing the life cycle of Black Jewfish Protonibea diacanthus: a new candidate for aquaculture in Northern Australia Black Jewfish aquaculture is in early stages of development and three batches of juveniles have been produced at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre in the Northern Territory. The initial primary bottlenecks identified are handling stress, larval survival, and management of cannibalism in early juvenile stages. The research questions this project will address are: What factors will be key in improving rearing procedures for black jewfish? Are black jewfish a suitable species for aquaculture? To address these questions, the project team will undertake a series of trials to determine optimum growing procedures for black jewfish in aquaculture systems. This requires access to high quality, fertilised black jewfish eggs, which is a limiting factor with current broodstock holding systems at the DAC. The addition of new broodstock (adult) housing capacity will increase availability of sexually mature fish and therefore fertilised eggs, enabling two annual spawns, around the black jewfish natural spawning season, to undertake larval rearing, nursery, grow-out and broodstock handling trials, targeted at developing and refining rearing protocols for black jewfish. The key areas of work for this project will include: Larval rearing trials which will focus on optimising nutrition, weaning and water quality procedures to increase survival. Nursery trials will be focused on reducing cannibalism and handling stress. Grow out trials will be performed on farms and will be focused on assessing and guidinghandling and feeding techniques. Broodstock trials will focus on animal handling for gonad assessment. Furthermore, as hatchery produced fish reach harvest size they will be assessed for end-product quality and marketability. This will all contribute to the primary final objective of the project, to assess the feasibility of black jewfish for commercial aquaculture and to produce the first hatchery manual for production.

Total Project Value
$2,726,157.00

Finish date
31 October 2026

Blacklip Rock Oyster industry development

Blacklip Rock Oyster industry development

This project will continue to build on the foundational work undertaken by researchers at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre, as part of an initial Tropical Rock Oyster research and development project (A.2.1819053NT). During the first phase of the CRCNA-funded project (2019-2023), significant progress has been made in this space, culminating in the development the world’s first hatchery manual for the Blacklip Rock Oyster (BRO). Over this period, hatchery production at the Darwin Aquaculture Centre (DAC) has increased exponentially (from 10,000s to 100,000s spat per spawning run). This increase in production is a direct result of improved hatchery techniques, which have been enhanced through broodstock conditioning, settlement and nursery trials conducted during the first project phase. However, as production has scaled up, new challenges have emerged in the nursery, resulting in inconsistent spat yields. Further research is required to continue to optimise production and reduce variability in spat production between spawning runs, which is critical to ensure farms can consistently access commercial quantities of advanced spat, and thereby build industry confidence and encourage private investment. The project will continue refinements to year-round supply of hatchery-reared spat (juvenile oyster) as this is fundamental to commercialisation, building confidence and encouraging investment. Extension and mentoring will be provided to support oyster farmers and Indigenous communities and farming trials across the Northern Territory.

Total Project Value
$3,058,076.00

Finish date
31 October 2026

Tropical Rock Oyster research and development WA

Tropical Rock Oyster research and development WA

This project establishes a collaborative cross jurisdictional approach to address the most significant technical and regulatory issues that confront the fledgling Tropical Rock Oyster (TRO) industry. The project aims to examine and resolve several key issues to support the development of the TRO industry by undertaking sub-projects addressing the different research needs identified: Securing commercial spat supply –  will utilise existing hatchery infrastructure and expertise at the DPIRD Hillarys facility to refine culture techniques for the Blacklip Rock Oyster (BLRO) and other TRO species to be identified in WA. Researchers will employ standard hatchery protocols used in the production of SROs on the TRO species identified in the Pilbara and Kimberley and compare performances before moving the experiment to ocean-based nurseries. Optimisation of grow-out methods and gear technology – Grow-out trials will take place in the Kimberley (Cone Bay) and in the Pilbara (three sites selected in the Dampier Archipelago) at sites providing intertidal and subtidal conditions for the farming of new TRO species (and BLRO in the Kimberley).  These trials will include work to: identify TRO species with good aquaculture potential and what system (intertidal or subtidal) they should be cultured with. compare the performance of a maximum of three TRO species (likely to be two species) during grow out in order to select the best performing species. industry road testing the different grow out scenarios for new TRO species. The project team worked cross-jurisdictionally with researchers from the Darwin Aquaculture Centre working on project A.2.1819053NT. Outcomes This project has developed identification tools and agreed common names for key commercial tropical oyster species to prevent potential market confusion and ensure accurate licencing and management of the emerging industry. The Darwin Aquaculture Centre has developed a hatchery manual for the Blacklip Rock Oyster (Saccostrea echinata). In April 2023, more than 700,000 mature oysters grown as part of this research project were transferred to commercial partner Maxima. Maxima will continue refining grow-out techniques with the aim to scale up to commercial harvest within the next decade.  

Total Project Value
$2,344,103.00

Finish date
31 October 2023

Cultural market system development

Cultural market system development

This project is seeking to test a new way of thinking about market systems design across Northern Australia, to better align the needs of suppliers and consumers and deliver improved cultural, economic and social outcomes with First Nations peoples and communities. By applying ‘gig economy’ thinking based on existing cultural knowledge, project lead Indigenous Connection believe thousands of First Nations people could overcome barriers to economic participation through employment and business opportunities which embrace cultural knowledge, skills and abilities and connect cultural knowledge supply with cultural knowledge demand.

Total Project Value
$1,855,000.00

Finish date
31 October 2025

Water Security for Northern Australia program: Implementation phase

Water Security for Northern Australia program: Implementation phase

This Water Security for Northern Australia program has been delivered through a partnership between the CRCNA and the Northern Australia Universities Alliance. It is intended this program will develop and implement a series of research projects which address problematic issues which are constraining sustainable water resource utilisation in four key precincts or focal nodes across Northern Australia. These focal nodes are (Gilbert (QLD), Daly-Katherine (NT), Ord (WA) and lower Fitzroy (QLD)). These focal nodes were selected by the CRCNA based on prior assessments and consultation indicating they are likely locations of further water resource development pressure.  In order to develop such a series of research projects, it was first required that the relevant stakeholders in each focal node be engaged in a co-design process. The co-design phase of the Water Security for Northern Australia program has identified a series of 15 priorities to be further examined as part of this implementation phase of the Water Security for Northern Australia program.

Total Project Value
$7,345,176.00

Finish date
30 June 2026

Unlocking the wealth of Indigenous knowledge and land ownership – seafood industry development

Unlocking the wealth of Indigenous knowledge and land ownership – seafood industry development

This research aims to identify the specific needs and barriers faced by Traditional Owners’ (TOs) to effectively participate in resource management and harvest on their sea country and develop tailored strategies to address these gaps. This would help ensure  TOs have greater ownership and investment in resource management initiatives and can contribute to the sustainable management of marine resources in their sea country. The project will support the development and growth of Indigenous businesses and initiatives, through increasing the skills, capacity, and capability of Indigenous people in the commercial fishing industry, ultimately leading to greater economic self-sufficiency and prosperity for Indigenous communities. It will investigate the potential of an Indigenous fishing cooperative as a way to facilitate greater economic participation within this industry.

Total Project Value
$4,092,534.00

Finish date
30 October 2026

Cotton Grains Cattle program: Intensification of northern cattle production in WA

Cotton Grains Cattle program: Intensification of northern cattle production in WA

The project will address research questions underpinning the intensification of irrigated crop and beef production systems in northern Western Australia (WA), particularly centred around the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA). A key focus is to what extent feed products from irrigated cropping can contribute to local cattle finishing systems, ultimately to produce a universally marketable animal and reduce the reliance on live export markets. Specifically, the project will establish a pilot cattle feeding facility using a ‘GrowSafe’ feed efficiency system and utilise a range of tropical feed rations sourced from the irrigated cropping industry (including cotton by-products and corn). Cattle performance will be assessed using growth, carcass composition and meat quality, along with measures of cattle well-being. Economic analysis of these systems and supply chains will also be undertaken. The social licence for intensification of agricultural production is increasingly being scrutinised and is particularly visible in environmentally sensitive regions such as northern WA. The environmental risks of irrigated cropping and intensive feeding systems, with a focus on water quality through efficient irrigation and use of pesticides and herbicides will be reviewed. Concurrent research to measure livestock methane emissions using a ‘GreenFeed’ system will assist with developing an economically viable supply chain with a small environmental footprint.  

Total Project Value
$6,175,350.00

Finish date
31 August 2026