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Keywords:

  • collaboration;
  • collaborative management;
  • co-management;
  • environmental management;
  • Indigenous;
  • partnership

Summary  Creating effective collaborations to address complex environmental management issues is becoming increasingly important, yet there is surprisingly little published to guide such collaborations. Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation has a long and successful history of engaging external collaborators and pioneering the ‘both ways’ approach to environmental management. Many of these partnerships have been highly successful, achieving nationally recognised environmental outcomes. Here, we present Dhimurru and some of its key collaborative projects in the context of these successes, drawing from our experiences in those collaborations to identify lessons learnt about how best to create these successful multi-organisational partnerships in a cross-cultural environment. Specifically we detail four attributes of Dhimurru’s management philosophy, and eight key lessons that we believe have been most important for creating these successful partnerships. Notably, we detail numerous novel ways in which Dhimurru proactively prevents problems and promotes collaboration. Such lessons should help provide a basis for developing policies and practices for effective multi-agency, cross-cultural collaborations.