The aim of this paper is to consider culturally appropriate research methodologies for working with Indigenous Australians and to suggest some alternatives. The emphasis is on developing culturally sensitive approaches that are not culturally offensive or continue a colonial mentality (Smith, 1999). Historically, Australian Aboriginal cultures have been one of the most researched in the world, yet despite this, some authors argue that the Aboriginal community has very little to show for this considerable body of research (e.g., Garvey, 2000a). Research strategies and methods applicable for use by non-Aboriginals intending to undertake research projects with Australian Indigenous people are suggested. We propose research strategies that represent an amalgam of the literature for use with individuals, groups and communities. These methods have been tested through post graduate, post doctoral and large grant research projects. In conclusion, the authors caution that just as Indigenous people are not a homogenous group, due to different languages, cultural practices, country, family relationships, levels of acculturation and impact of western colonisation, no one research method will provide a universal panacea. Instead the authors provide guidelines that allow for the researcher to adapt to the idiosyncratic nature of Indigenous communities.
The information contained on this website has been sourced by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) and AIPEP 2. The first AIPEP was funded by the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning. AIPEP 2 is part of the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, funded by the Million Minds Mission Grant. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning or the Million Minds Mission Grant.
Several of the images used throughout this website are credited to Chris Lewis