Operationalising First Nations Data Sovereignty

Storytelling is at the heart of Aboriginal culture and identity. Through the power of data, stories of Country and Community can be recorded, preserved, shared, and analysed to help build knowledge and take action to disrupt disadvantage and close the gap.

First Nations Data Sovereignty empowers communities to take control of their data, decision-making, narrative, and destiny.

Operationalisation of Data Sovereignty at the local level allows First Nations communities to be the data instigators and process determiners, define what is most important, and have values and socio-cultural realities (Lifeworlds) reflected in the data ecosystem.

Bourke, a lighthouse example of First Nations Data Sovereignty

Community data access and sharing is at the heart of a new Bourke narrative, written and owned by Bourke people. 

Grassroots data collaboration is fuelling the systems-change vision for Bourke, facilitated via the Palimaa Data Platform, powered by Seer Data & Analytics. Together with Government partners, the Bourke community has been successful in breaking the circuit of entrenched disadvantage and early interaction with the criminal justice system and high incarceration rates.

Alister Ferguson – Maranguka Community Hub

Bourke Case Study

Featured in the Australian Data Strategy, Maranguka Community Hub in Bourke NSW is a lighthouse example of First Nations Data Sovereignty.


Good Tech Fest 2022

First Nations Data Sovereignty discussion

In this session titled ‘Data Science for Impact’ at the 2022 Good Tech Fest, Maranguka Community Hub Founder and Executive Director Alister Ferguson spoke to Seer’s Kristi Mansfield about how data is helping ‘break the circuit’ for the community of Bourke in regional NSW.

Maranguka Community Hub is a lighthouse example of operationalising First Nations Data Sovereignty and governance.

Learn more about First Nations Data Sovereignty

Note on language and terminology:

‘Indigenous Data Sovereignty and ‘Indigenous Data Governance’ otherwise referred to on this page as First Nations Data Sovereignty when referring to the explicit experience of Australia’s First Peoples. Indigenous is used interchangeably throughout when referring to global First Peoples and in line with the global concept of Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Governance. Such terminology is used with respectful recognition of the heterogeneity of the First Nations peoples of the lands, sea and air.


Seer Data & Analytics respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the many lands on which we conduct our business and learn; to Elders, past, present and emerging; and to all First Nations peoples whose wisdom contributes to our future. 

We are deeply committed to honouring and amplifying First Nations peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationship to the lands, waters and seas; and to transforming practice to uphold and reflect First Nations values.

Other events and resources

The Foil podcast, featuring Dr Ian Oppermann

In a recent episode of The Foil podcast – Data Science for government and society – Dr Ian Oppermann, NSW Chief Data Scientist shares his journey into Data Science, how he helps people to ask the right questions, and both the challenges and opportunities that data offers our wider society.