Joint University of Sydney/University of Melbourne/AAHPSSS Seminar

A jointly sponsored seminar will be held at 5:30 pm Monday 4th April. Mitchell Gibbs from the University of Sydney will be speaking on ‘First Nations Knowledge of Shellfish in Australia’. An abstract and bio are below.

To access this seminar you can use the following Zoom link:


Throughout the world, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), held by First Nations peoples, and its incorporation in shellfish aquaculture and coastal management. In Australia, however, this understanding and incorporation of First Nations TEK of shellfish aquaculture and coastal management is in its infancy. In contrast to Australia, in Aotearoa (New Zealand), there is a rich history of knowledge of shellfish, understanding of cultural practices and the use of stories and ancestral sayings. We reviewed the current state of incorporation of TEK of shellfish in both Australia and Aotearoa. We find that TEK in Aotearoa has improved aquaculture and provides evidence of the value of incorporating TEK in the production of shellfish. We are only now just beginning the journey in Australia to understand and document TEK and practices held by First Nations people. Aotearoa provides valuable lessons on the importance of TEK and guidance for the respectful incorporation of TEK into shellfish aquaculture and coastal management in Australia. If we are to appropriately restore and manage our coasts, then we need to incorporate First Nations Australians knowledge, and respect and protect their connections to traditional sea management.


Mitchell Gibbs is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Geosciences, at the University of Sydney. Mitchell holds a PhD degree in Marine Biology/Biochemistry. Mitchell Gibbs is a Thunghutti man through kinship of the Dunghutti nation.