#Expression of Interest GBRF048: Traditional Owner Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Pilot Project

Reef Trust Partnership

The Traditional Owner Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program is an opportunity for Reef Traditional Owners to lead the monitoring of their culture and heritage values. 

Under the Reef Trust Partnership, Traditional Owners have been working hard with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to co-design a program that will successfully implement and test the Strong Peoples-Strong Country monitoring program in your own community.

This is a great opportunity for Great Barrier Reef Traditional Owner groups to get involved in a Traditional Owner approach to monitoring, reporting and sharing data about your culture and heritage values.

Applications open Wednesday 22 September 2021 and close 11:59pm (AEST) Monday 1 November 2021. 

Applications must be emailed to applications@barrierreef.org using the Application Form provided.

Information Session:

At 11am (AEST) Wednesday 13 October 2021, an online information session will be held via a webinar to provide an overview of the process, documents, and expectations as well as to answer questions from potential applicants.

Questions can be emailed to grants@barrierreef.org. Questions emailed by Monday 11 October 2021 will be addressed during the information session where possible.

Register Here 

Key Documents:

Supporting Documents:



#FAQ's and Webinar Questions - Traditional Owner Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Pilot Project

How do I apply?

Read the key documents, complete the application form and send to applications@barrierreef.org by 11:59pm (AEST) Monday 1 November 2021.

When do applications close?

All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (AEST) Monday 1 November 2021.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Can Great Barrier Reef Foundation staff help me complete the application form?

No. Great Barrier Reef Foundation staff are able to clarify any questions you have regarding the application form, but they are not able to help you complete it.

Can individuals apply if they have a sponsor and demonstrate community support?

No. As an individual you are not eligible to apply either with or without a sponsor.

Can you apply for funding for projects or work already underway?

No. Applications should be submitted for new projects or further stages of an existing project. There should be no duplication of funding between existing projects and new applications made under this grant program.

Do I need to provide supporting information?

Optional supplementary information (e.g. letters of support from stakeholders or other community groups) are encouraged to help assist the assessment panel understand your application. Support letters or letters of endorsement from your Traditional Owner group are required.

How much detail should I put in the budget and if I miss something can I put it in again later?

Items that were not budgeted in the original application will not be funded. Applicants must consider all aspects of their project and ensure they include all relevant costs within their application. Additional funds are not available to meet costs which may have increased after the application was submitted.

How will I be notified that my application has been received?

When you submit your application to applications@barrierreef.org you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not please contact grants@barrierreef.org

If I need to make a change to my submitted application, what do I do?

No changes are permitted once the closing of the application date (post 1st November 2021). Please read your application carefully before submitting to ensure that you have completed every relevant section and that all the information is true and correct.

What are the assessment criteria?

The assessment criteria is outlined in the Guidelines. Applications will be assessed against this criteria.

If I am successful, when can I start my project?

Successful applicants will receive a contract that will need to be signed and returned. Any specified conditions of funding must be met before full payment for the project can be processed and the project commences. Projects should expect to start in early February 2022.

What percentage of grants funds can be allocated for project administration?

A maximum amount of 10% of the overall budget can be allocated for project administration.

Are Traditional Owner groups located off the coast eligible to apply?

Traditional Owners of the GBR catchment as well as the saltwater Traditional Owners along the coast of the GBR are eligible to apply. You can check if your Country falls within the GBR Catchment boundaries on the map attached. If you are unsure if your Country falls with the GBR catchment, please email us descriptions of the area, and we can explore this. Send these queries to grants@barrierreef.org

Our Aboriginal Corporation has Public Liability Insurance, and a Workcover Policy. Is this the same as Workers Compensation?

Public liability insurance and a work cover policy will include workers compensation.

We are a Traditional Owner group, do we need to provide a letter of support from Traditional Owners?

Yes, it is good to provide a letter of support and say who you are. The letter of support could be from the Board of Directors of your organization, or from an Elder, or a member of an established Steering Committee. It helps the assessors understand how the project is being developed and discussed with your Traditional Owner Group.

What are the most important aspects of the research and practical application which would create a positive impact through involvement of majority of Traditional Owners?

The most important aspects of the research is at the heart of the creation of the Strong Peoples-Strong Country framework itself. Designed by Traditional Owners for Traditional Owners, it is a long time aspiration of Reef Traditional Owners, and probably Australia. The practical application of this framework, which was developed in 2016 by the Indigenous Heritage Expert Group, looked at people and culture holistically, with particular focus on monitoring Indigenous heritage values in the Great Barrier Reef. The framework itself has over 40 key attributes that sit under the main 6 hubs, creating a positive impact, a mechanism for involving the majority of Traditional Owners and to enable the meeting of the research priorities identified by Traditional Owners of the Great Barrier Reef.

Watch the above live recording of the webinar for a full response to this question.

Do the four-to-six projects need to cover the whole Great Barrier Reef area?

No. We understand the size and scale of the Great Barrier Reef and its catchment is significant and together would cover hundreds of Traditional Owner groups. The four-to-six pilot communities will be selected based on assessment against selection criterion outlined in the guidelines. It will cover Traditional Owner land and sea country within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and or the catchment area. The map provided in the guidelines displays this information. It will be up to each applicant to let us know which part of the GBR or catchment area the pilot would apply in accordance with their cultural authority, rights and interests.

Watch the above live recording of the webinar for a full response to this question.

Does the research assistant work for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation or the Traditional Owner community?

The Community Research Assistant will be employed by the community. It will be funded by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to the successful Pilot Community.

Watch the above live recording of the webinar for a full response to this question.

How will my Cultural Heritage information be protected?

In terms of protection and formalised ownership of cultural and heritage information, this will always reside with the Traditional Owners, as the primary source of that knowledge and information, and as such must also control intellectual property and other information relating specifically to their heritage, as this may be an integral aspect of its heritage value. There are processes in place for Traditional Owner groups to work through their governance arrangements to consider data sharing agreement making. These processes oversee the protection of Indigenous culture and intellectual property rights. In addition, there is also the appointment of a data management expert to work directly with Traditional Owners and a provision within the contract for successful communities to access independent legal advice. Further, there is support available for communities to determine what data and information they wish to share more broadly with reef-wide decision-makers and management agencies and what data they choose not to share.

Watch the above live recording of the webinar for a full response to this question.

How can Traditional Owner groups demonstrate that they have cultural authority to apply?

We understand that Traditional Owners are those people who, through membership in a descent group or clan, have responsibility for caring for particular country. Traditional Owners are authorised to speak for country and its
heritage. Most Traditional Owner groups will have cultural processes and/ or other governance processes in place to guide them in these matters, and may include Elders Councils, Prescribed Body Corporates through the Native Title process and/or Cultural Heritage bodies. Ultimately it is up to each Traditional Owner group to present their own case in this process.

Watch the above live recording of the webinar for a full response to this question.

What is the primary outcome for the project? What would success look like?

Success for the project in 2024 would be that the Strong Peoples-Strong Country framework is tested by Traditional Owners through appropriate processes, so that we understand what works and what should be improved; that Traditional Owners themselves feel positive benefits from implementing the framework and that relevant and agreed data is able to be shared through appropriate agreement and decision making; that Traditional Owners are empowered in primary decision-making in relation to Indigenous heritage so they can continue to fulfil their obligations towards this heritage.

Furthermore, as Traditional Owners have designed this framework for application within Traditional Owner communities, success would be that in 2024 there has been useful data collected by the communities and agreements are in place to share some of this data into the decision support systems designed to inform the adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef. Another aspect of success for Traditional Owners with this project could be the local economic benefits for communities including employment and capacity building, skilling up and attainment of qualifications for their own community members. Further, opportunities such as this provide Traditional Owners an ability to influence and inform large management processes such as the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report and the State of the Environment Report for the Reef, which looks to identify the condition and trend of Indigenous values in moments of time.

Watch the above live recording of the webinar for a full response to this question.

What is the definition of data being used in this project?

Data, as it is being used in this project, is information, whether in a raw data state or something else such as a story format for instance. There is a whole process that also supports the communities getting to the point of identifying, collecting, storing and then sharing their data and information more widely. Particularly with the overarching process of the Reef integrated, monitoring and reporting for the Great Barrier Reef under the Reef 2050 plan, which takes the form of many conversations for Traditional Owners to identify which data they wish to share and which data is for their own purposes.