Dr Janelle White

Adjunct Research Fellow
Nulungu Research Institute

Email: Janelle.White@nd.edu.au
Phone: 08 9192 0670

  • Biography

    Janelle has been working in Aboriginal Australia since 2000. She is a qualified Applied Anthropologist and her research interests have always focused on Indigenous peoples’ relationship to their physical environments, their homes, and ways to facilitate improvement to their livelihoods and well-being. Janelle has held many and varied positions in remote regions throughout Australia, including Project Research Officer on Aboriginal pastoral stations in the East Kimberley, Native Title Anthropologist in Geraldton, Language Worker at the Halls Creek Kimberley Language Resource Centre, and Staff Anthropologist working with cultural heritage in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankuntjatjara Lands of north-west South Australia. Additionally, she has taught at four Australian Universities (Adelaide, UniSA, Macquarie, UTS). From this work, she has developed a strong interest in and understanding of Aboriginal cultures – in particular the need for socio-culturally based approaches to livelihood and well-being enhancement. Janelle has also traveled internationally to gain further understanding of alternative approaches to enterprise development based on sustainable natural resource and cultural knowledge management. In Bogor, Indonesia she met with international experts in the area of Non-Timber Forestry Product (NTFP) research, to better understand how and what kind of contextual factors can aid or hinder people’s participation in such industries. In India, she spent six weeks living and working in a remote Himalayan village, then six weeks working with an NGO in the far north-west of Gujarat state, in the remote, arid region of Kutch, where there are many tribal groups. In both places, she experienced firsthand, local methods of engagement with the (geographically and culturally distant) national and international economies through creative approaches to sustainable natural and cultural resource management. Janelle is very interested in the possibility of enhancing future cross-cultural learnings (with remote Aboriginal Australia) in terms of developing alternative flexible models of economic engagement that are based on cultural knowledge, and yet are also able to accommodate the demands of the consumer market.

  • Teaching areas

    Janelle has 20 years of teaching experience in the following fields:

    • ESL (English as a Second Language), including Academic English and English for Specific Purposes
    • Comparative northern/remote area development and environmental studies
    • Collaborative resource management and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
    • Contemporary Indigenous Issues
    • Indigenous Perspectives on Globalisation
    • Cultural Perspectives on Health
    • Knowledge, Ideology and Social Science
    • Aboriginal Cultures
    • Social Anthropology
  • Research expertise and supervision

    Janelle’s PhD research focused on issues associated with enterprise development in remote areas, with the aim to help facilitate participation in the broader local and national economies, expressly through culturally-based enterprises. The focus of this research was on the commercialisation of local bush produce (including bush foods, bush medicines, as well as seeds and nuts for making jewelery) and the issues related to the use of cultural knowledge in enterprise development. This study was conducted over a period of four years in four distinct case study regions spread throughout remote areas of South Australia and the Northern Territory. Through this research, Janelle came to appreciate some of the ways in which Aboriginal involvement in and benefits received from such culturally-based industries can be either facilitated and/or hampered.

    The PhD research process involved Aboriginal participants and co-researchers working together in a Participatory Action Research-style approach. Janelle has experience in the following methods and processes:

    • Participatory Action Research
    • Train-the-trainer
    • Interviewing
    • Self-reflective inquiry

    Janelle is passionate about the sharing of learnings and experiences to enable people to make informed choices and realise opportunities that can benefit their livelihoods and well-being.
  • Books

    Nga Ngurra Ngarlingba Jaru Yaru: A Sense of Place - Report on fieldtrips with Jaru people from Halls Creek, Western Australia, in press, Kimberley Language Resource Centre, Halls Creek.

    Nyawa ngali marnana Wanyjirra jaru (We speak Wanyjirra), 2008, Kimberley Language Resource Centre, Halls Creek

  • Book Chapters

    ‘Bush Tucker: Australian Native Foods’, Australia, 2011, Lonely Planet, Melbourne; p. 67.

  • Journal articles and proceedings

    • Davies, J., White, J., Wright, A., Maru, Y., LaFlamme, M. 2008, “Applying the sustainable livelihoods approach in Australian desert Aboriginal development”, The Rangeland Journal, Vol. 30, Issue 1, pp. 55-65.
    • White, J. 2003, “A Sense of Place – Reflections on the Land-Self Connection”, Langscape, Dec. 2002 – March 2003, No. 25.
  • Conference papers

    • White, J. 2012, “Indigenous Peoples’ Livelihoods and Emerging Bush Produce Industries – Recent Experiences from Australia’s Arid Zone”, Australian Anthropological Society Annual Conference, Brisbane, August 2012.
    • White, J. 2009, “In Search of the Appreciative Market Aboriginal Peoples’ Livelihoods and the Emerging Bush Produce Industries – Recent Experiences from Australia’s Arid Zone”, The International Rural Network (IRN) World Forum: “Development Dialogues and Dilemmas”, Udaipur, India, August 23rd – 28th.
    • White, J. 2009, “In Search of the Appreciative Market Aboriginal Peoples’ Livelihoods and the Emerging Bush Produce Industries – Recent Experiences from Australia’s Arid Zone”, Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies: Perspectives from Anthropology, History and Material Culture, The National Museum, Canberra, November 9th – 10th.
    • Laramba Bush Beads (Anmatyerr jewellery-makers) stall and demonstration site at the Desert Knowledge Australia International Conference and Business Symposium, Alice Springs Convention Centre, November 2008.
    • Schiller, N. and White, J., 2005, “Integrated Natural and Cultural Resource Management on Aboriginal Owned Pastoral Stations in the East Kimberley”, Kimberley Appropriate Economies Roundtable, Fitzroy Crossing, October 11th – 13th. (incl. written reports)
  • Professional affiliations

    South Australian Anthropological Society (Counsellor)

  • Community engagement

    The Yiriman Project Women's Coordinator - working with Elders and youth from four language groups: Walmajarri, Nyikina, Mangala, Karajarri.

  • Awards

    Desert Knowledge CRC PhD Scholarship