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The Turtuni Framework

The Turtuni Framework is an engagement tool for supporting Tiwi governance. This framework emerged out of collaborative discussions from 2019 - 2023 with senior Tiwi leaders, and was led by Tiwi community based researcher Mavis Kerinaiua in collaboration with colleagues from Charles Darwin University, Deakin University, and the University of Melbourne. 

The Turtuni Framework is derived from traditional Tiwi ceremony and Milimika governance models created by senior Tiwi women. Ancilla Kurrupuwu and the late Teresita Puruntatameri, Leah Kerinaiua, Elizabeth Yirmay Kerinaiua and Carmelina Puantulara worked together to design the Milimika model for the primary school as a means of culturally sensitive leadership and cooperation. 

Building on this, Mavis Kerinaiua and Fiona Kerinaiua created the Turtuni Framework painting which is a Tiwi perspective on caring for country and the importance of Tiwi cultural values for biodiversity and sustainable development with Murrakupuni and Winga (Tiwi land and sea). This framework was then further developed through consultations with 39 Tiwi individuals and representatives from 10 Tiwi organisations, and will continue to develop in its ongoing use. 

The Turtuni Framework includes;

  • a 'Welcome Statement' to be used in meetings to establish respectful and productive relationships for decision making, 
  • Tiwi Ethical Principles and Pillars of Strength, and
  • a  template Memorandum or Understanding for Tiwi people and other organisations to work together. 

The Turtuni Framework is a guide for collaborative research and planning that brings Murrukupuni and Winga and Tiwi knowledge to the forefront of discussions. For instance, it can be used when Tiwi people and their organisations are working with researchers to encourage collaborative partnerships where Tiwi knowledge and science and Western knowledge and science are valued and respected equally. However, the Framework is also relevant for use in other governance contexts, for example in community development and well-being initiatives. 

We invite Tiwi people, Tiwi local service providers, and other organisations collaborating with Tiwi people and working on the Tiwi Islands to freely download these resources from the Turtuni Framework

For further information on the Turtuni Framework, and to discuss how it may be used in your organisation, the services you provide, in schools, or in research projects and collaborations, please contact Mavis Kerinaiua or Tiwi Resources. 

Mavis Kerinaiua

Web: https://iri.cdu.edu.au/mavis-kerinaiua/
Email: mavis.kerinaiua@tiwiresources.com.au