Abstract: In this report, I identify some considerations for partnerships between research organisations and Aboriginal organisations in desert Australia, and some directions for research. I cover only some issues and I focus on land management. My report is based on selective consultations and networks. A lot more consultation and negotiation has to happen to develop the research directions I identify here into partnerships and collaborative research projects. Research can bring benefit to Aboriginal people. Aboriginal organisations do a lot of research. Some Aboriginal organisations do this research in ways that build capacity among their own people. Outside researchers can bring new ideas, knowledge and networks to desert Aboriginal people. This can help support Aboriginal people to move from welfare dependency to being a strong part of regional economies. But researchers cannot do this alone. Partnerships with Aboriginal organisations and with government are needed for long-term support and outcomes. Partnerships between organisations start from trust between individuals. It is important for organisations to have a clear agreement about their partnership, what they will put into it and what they will work towards together. Partnership agreements are important for continuity and for conflict resolution, but as one participant in this research said: ‘It’s what is in the guts of the relationship that will produce outcomes, not the agreement papers’. To be effective partners with Aboriginal organisations, research organisations need to look at how they develop and scope research projects, how they involve Aboriginal people in research, and how they communicate their research. These research approaches need to suit the way that Aboriginal people and organisations do business. To develop projects that are valuable to Aboriginal people and organisations, researchers need resources to consult and negotiate with Aboriginal organisations and to consult with Aboriginal people ‘on the ground’ about research ideas and how to implement them. Aboriginal organisations often don’t have spare capacity to devote to developing strategic approaches to their research needs. They often work in fast changing situations and have to respond to ‘crises’. Research organisations need capacity to respond quickly to Aboriginal priorities. Quick response to Aboriginal priorities can cut short the time that is needed for research organisations and Aboriginal organisations to develop relationships and negotiate collaborative projects.