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Terri Janke - Awarded the JG Crawford Prize for her PhD True Tracks

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Terri on stage for the PhD graduation ceremony

We are proud to announce that Dr Terri Janke has been awarded the J.G. Crawford Prize from the Australian National University (ANU) for her 2019 thesis True Tracks: Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Principles for putting Self-Determination into Practice.

The J.G. Crawford Prize is the highest recognition of academic excellence for a PhD graduate. The prize was established in 1973 to recognise Sir John Crawford's outstanding contributions to the University, both as Vice-Chancellor for five years (1968-1973) and as Director of the Research School of Pacific Studies for the preceding seven years (1960-1967). Sir John was also the Chancellor of the University from 1976 to 1984.

The first Indigenous recipient of the award was Meriam woman Dr Kerry Arabena for her PhD thesis in environmental science in the field of human ecology in 2010, entitled Indigenous to the Universe : a discourse of indigeneity, citizenship and ecological relationships.

Completing her PhD in 2019, and now receiving this award, represents a huge milestone in her legal and academic career and much deserved recognition of her dedication to Indigenous cultural heritage rights.

Terri says, “I am so honoured receive the ANU J.G. Crawford Prize for academic excellence for my PhD. Thank you, to the Crawford family, the ANU and the National Centre for Indigenous Studies.”

Terri’s PhD thesis is an important contribution to understanding how Indigenous arts and knowledge is treated in the Australian legal system, in policy and practice. The focus is her trailblazing True Tracks® principles, a 10-step framework for negotiating and protecting Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights (ICIP). The framework can assist negotiations, planning and implementation of projects that include Indigenous cultural expression and knowledge.

Terri also presents case studies from her published papers, covering topics such as Indigenous arts, performing arts, records management, film, traditional knowledge and biological materials.

Whilst nominally protected under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or UNDRIP (to which Australia is now a signatory), the daily appropriation and misuse of Indigenous arts and cultural knowledge demonstrates the lack of adequate protections by Australian and international intellectual property laws, regulations and policies.

The True Tracks® ICIP Protocols have value well beyond Australia in assisting Indigenous peoples to assert their ICIP rights, informing new law and policy, and enabling industry (including universities) to productively engage with Indigenous holders of ICIP.


ANU, Celebrating our 2019 J.G. Crawford Prize recipients (10 November 2020):

Terri Janke, True Tracks: Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Principles for putting Self-Determination into Practice (PhD Thesis, Australian National University, 2019)

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