The Cultural Principles & Protocols For Designers, by Danièle Hromek and Terri Janke, provide an informative, accessible and very helpful resource for designing with Country and working with Indigenous communities.

Many participants at Parlour events have asked about protocols for designing for Country. The Cultural Principles & Protocols For Designers: for Projects or Curricula involving Indigenous Peoples, Communities and Materials is an excellent place to start.

Written by designer and researcher Danièle Hromek (Budawang/Yuin) and lawyer Terri Janke (Wuthathi/Meriam), the document sets out nine clear principles:

  1. Respect
  2. Indigenous Agency
  3. Communication, consultation, negotiation and consent
  4. Interpretation, integrity and authenticity
  5. Secrecy and confidentiality
  6. Attribution and copyright
  7. Benefit sharing and reciprocity
  8. Continuing Cultures
  9. Recognition and protection

Each principle is clearly and concisely explained, and complemented by a set of protocols for implementing the principle and by “practice points”, presented as a series of questions to encourage reflection and support action.

Cultural Principles & Protocols For Designers can be downloaded from Djinjama.

Originally published in 2017, the protocols have been republished this year (2021). They build on similar protocols in related fields – for example, Indigenous Cultural Protocols and the Arts, also by Terri Janke, and the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies, developed by AIATSIS.