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Desert Knowledge Australia, a statutory corporation of the Northern Territory, was established to support research, education and the development of partnerships to help drive better outcomes for desert and arid communities.

As the custodian of the 73 hectare Desert Knowledge Precinct, DKA is passionate about respectful collaboration with Australia’s First Nations peoples from the Arrernte community on whose land the precinct is established. 

The precinct, which is about halfway between Mparntwe (Alice Springs township) and the airport, was set up through an Indigenous Land Use Agreement between DKA and the Arrernte people through the Native Title holders, the Lhere Artepe Aboriginal Corporation. 

The precinct is considered neutral ground in Arrernte Country, as it has served as a meeting place for visitors and the local Antuyle and Mparntwe groups for generations. 

This was officially recognised and ceremonially confirmed in 2010 at the opening of the Desert People’s Centre on the Precinct by Prime Minister Julia Gillard as the “United Nations for Desert People”. 

The Desert Knowledge Precinct is home to the Centre for Appropriate Technology, a First Nations-owned and run technology training and delivery organisation; Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education; and the NT Indigenous Business Network’s Central Australian Hub. 

The precinct is 40 percent powered by renewable energy provided by the DKA Solar Centre ( 

The recently installed 300kW battery energy storage system, as part of Alice Springs Future Grid), will help drive it towards decarbonisation. 

DKA’s vision is: “Sharing our place on Country to innovate and progress social wellbeing and sustainability for desert and arid communities.” It is being realised this year as more people and organisations choose to be a part of it. 

Cultural engagement with the site leads to the development of a Knowledge and Wisdom Centre and onsite accommodation. 

DKA’s expertise in growing partnerships and collaborations in the areas of climate adaptation, renewable energy, water security and workforce development will build towards a more inclusive and sustainable economic agenda for the nation’s desert heart. 

For more information, go to or follow Desert Knowledge Australia on LinkedIn or Facebook.