Northern Territory Local Government Research Symposium

Thursday Research Workshop | Friday Research Symposium

Northern Territory Local Government Research Symposium

Over the 4th and 5th of September the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) in partnership with the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory (LGANT) and Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University hosted a research symposium and workshop in Darwin.

The symposium included formal and informal sessions and workshops intended to:

  • Showcase examples of current local government research and practice which relate to key policy issues for the Northern Territory.
  • Provide opportunities for local government practitioners to share information and research projects, and
  • Discuss the implications of research for local government policy and practice.

The whole day symposium was streamed to a dedicated venue at Charles Darwin University's Alice Springs campus for those in Central Australia, and a number of speakers also presented from this location.

Local Government Research Symposium, Friday 5 September

Download the program for the research symposium. Download »

Charles Darwin University, Northern Institute

8.30amArrival Tea and Coffee

Opening remarks



Local government and federalism white paper: breaking the game open - Dr Bligh Grant, UTS: Centre for Local Government


10.00amMorning tea

Planning future towns

Planning for rural towns and communities - Tony Tapsell, LGANT (TBC)

Response - Melissa Gibbs, ACELG

Generating evidence

The Learning Community Framework and evaluating impact - Dr Shanti Wong


Response from an NT perspective - Dr Michelle Lucas, Desert Knowledge Australia [video link-up]




Local government and housing, national trends and issues - Professor Andrew Beer, Director,  Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Adelaide


The Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program, The good the bad and the ugly of policy implementation - Allan McGill, Former Chief Executive, Department of Local Government and Regions


2.15pmAfternoon tea

Cultural innovations

Building cultural competence in the local government workforce - Mike Harrison, Charles Darwin University


Sharing knowledges in cultural innovation in a central Australian context - Dr Edwina Marks, CEO, Barkly Regional Council


3.45pmClosing Plenary - Melissa Gibbs (ACELG)

Research in Practice Workshop, Thursday 4 September 2014

Darwin City Council Meeting Room 1, Civic Centre, Harry Chan Avenue, Darwin

12.45pmArrival Tea and Coffee
1.00pmWelcome and introductions

Research in local government – why do it? [Facilitated discussion]

This session will flesh out some of the key issues and opportunities for research in a local government context from a practitioner perspective.

  • What is research in the local government context?
  • Working and doing research
  • Being a researcher:
    • Resources for research
      • Librarians
      • Peer networks
    • Publishing – Where? For whom?
      • Open access/Industry Associations
      • Predatory publishers
    • Doing research degrees? Benefits?
    • Going to conferences.
2.20pmAfternoon tea break

Life beyond the numbers: qualitative research methods for local government

3.50pmShort walk to the ABS training room

Adding things up: quantitative data and local government research – This hands-on session will be facilitated by the ABS, and look at how best to use the ABS website to find regional data to inform plans and evaluations.