BA, University of Auckland
MA (Hons), University of Auckland
PhD (Anthropology), Australian National University
Jon Altman is ARC Australian Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. He has a disciplinary background in economics and anthropology. He was the foundation director of CAEPR from April 1990–April 2010. Since 2001 Professor Altman has been an adjunct Professorial Fellow at the School for Environmental Research at Charles Darwin University in Darwin. In 2003, Professor Altman was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. He has also been awarded an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship (2008 to 2013) focusing his research efforts on the project 'Hybrid Economic Futures for Remote Indigenous Australia'. In October 2012, Professor Altman was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Further information is availble from Professor Altman's Curriculum Vitae.
Professor Altman's research interests include: Sustainable economic development and associated policy issues for Indigenous Australia; the hybrid economy framework; the economic engagement of Indigenous people with the Australian and global economies (especially in mining, tourism, arts industries and emerging industries); sustainable commercial utilisation of wildlife and fisheries; the Indigenous customary economy and its articulations with the market; land rights, native title and Indigenous land management; and theoretical issues in economic and development anthropology.
Professor Altman undertook fieldwork for his doctorate in the Maningrida region, central Arnhem Land in 1979-81 and has maintained vibrant and diverse research relations with this region for over twenty years. He has also undertaken field research in north Queensland, the Torres Strait, the Kimberleys and Central Australia.
Professor Altman is currently involved in a number of ARC projects including his own on 'Hybrid Economic Futures for Remote Indigenous Australia' and as a Chief Investigator on an ARC Linkage project 'More than a Roof Overhead: Meeting the Need for a Sustainable Housing System in Remote Indigenous Communities' based at RMIT University. Other research he is currently undertaking focuses on Indigenous interests in fresh water, as an adviser to the Indigenous Water Policy Group and the Northern Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA). A major project he is directing, largely sponsored by the Sidney Myer Trust, is the 'People On Country, Healthy Landscapes, and Indigenous Economic Futures' project that began in November 2007.
Jon maintains some important research linkages, especially with the NAILSMA (where he is on the Technical Reference Group for the Turtle and Dugong Management Project), the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) research hub, the National Water Commission and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. He also regularly collaborates with Aboriginal land councils in the Northern Territory, the Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation in Maningrida and the Laynhapuy Homelands Association in Yirrkala.
Graduate Teaching and Higher Degree Supervision
Professor Altman does some undergraduate lecturing and honours and internship supervision, but his main focus is on graduate teaching. In 2005 he developed a Graduate Program in Indigenous Policy as a stream of the Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (MAAPD). This followed the successful piloting of the graduate course Development Dilemmas for Indigenous Australians (ANTH 8029) in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 and 2007, he convened the MAAPD (Indigenous Policy). He now provides guest lectures in CAEPR’s MAAPD courses: Indigenous Policy and Indigenous Development as well as in a number of other courses in the MAAPD.
Professor Altman supervises and advises PhD students primarily located at CAEPR, but also in other parts of the ANU and at Charles Darwin University, as well as overseas at Radbout University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands and Université de Provence, Marseille, France. A number of students supervised by Professor Altman are associated with ARC Linkage projects and recent graduates he has supervised include Robert Levitus, Katherine Trebeck, Benedict Scambary, Sue Feary, Sally May and Jennifer Koenig. Professor Altman is focusing his immediate future supervision on PhD scholars researching Indigenous economic development issues, with key areas of speciality including the hybrid economy, land rights and native title, and engagement in natural and cultural resource management. Priority will be given to students enrolling at CAEPR and in other parts of the ANU College of the Arts and Social Sciences.
Professor Altman's career highlights, besides establishing CAEPR in 1990, include chairing the review of the Aboriginals Benefit Trust Account in 1984; chairing the review of the Aboriginal Arts and Crafts Industry in 1989; participating in the review of Native Title Representative Bodies in 1995; appointment as independent expert to the Kakadu Regional Social Impact Study in 1996-97; membership of the UNESCO Kakadu Mission in 1998; and establishing the Indigenous Arts Strategy for the Northern Territory Government in 2003.
Key publications & research
A full listing (current to October 2011) of Professor Altman's publications and research outputs is available for download. This listing contains links to the actual documents whenever available.
Professor Altman's comprehensive Curriculum Vitae is also available for download.