Depiction of knowledge on to model

Published: 15 November 2015
Last edited: 13 January 2020
Indigenous Elders and knowledge holders depicted their knowledge on to the blank model over several days. On the first day participants spent some time orienting themselves to the model; finding points of reference and discussing how and where to start. Creeks and walking tracks were depicted first using wool and paint. Labels were also added early as reference points. Younger people were slowly bought into the process as knowledge was being depicted, and were invited to paint or place wool strands with direction. Progressively during the process discussions around place and the significance of certain heritage was shared between Elders and other participants. Participants decided that the models would be a 'work in progress' and that more knowledge could be added at later times. During this stage participants also attended the World Parks Congress and conducted a live demonstration of 'depicting knowledge'.


Education, training and other capacity development activities
Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Strategy and plan, Technical method, technique, tool
Scale of implementation

Enabling factors

Community members with deep cultural knowledge and a willingness to share that knowledge. A space to work in where Elders and knowledge holders felt comfortable enough to share knowledge. Participants trusting the facilitator (because there is access to sensitive cultural information). Involvement of a broad cross section of the community to facilitate inter-generational sharing.. Use of satellite imagery assisted in participants orientation against a blank model

Lessons learned

This building block was one of the most important of the project as it was a catalyst for inter generational sharing of knowledge. Implementing this stage while physically on Mandingalbay people's traditional lands, ensured that participants felt comfortable to share and depict their knowledge. This is especially important in Australian Aboriginal communities. Guiding participants toward depicting key landmarks as initial reference points helps to avoid painted mistakes (which are hard to correct). Asking leading questions also encouraged discussion and sharing of stories amongst participants. The facilitator should step back during this phase and allow knowledge to emerge naturally, however continue to gently ensure adherence to the use of correct legend symbology