The theme of governance looks at how Indigenous communities provide leadership in governing research in communities and with researchers. There are already some protocols and practices in place; for example Land Council Research permits and both the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and national guidelines for research in and with Indigenous people. CDU has an ethics committee that is focused on including Indigenous people in the decision making process. The question is the same, no matter these current circumstances and practices, how much Indigenous voice is included in the kinds of research developed with and in our communities. This is about community leadership process and practices in research and research evaluation.
The theme of Passing the Message is about the outcomes of research. It is about what messages does the research tell us, how is it shared in the community, who shares the message and in what ways are messages passed on to others. This theme is also about the work of Indigenous researchers and their role in research in communities and the wider groups that are interested in the research. How the message is passed on to others and who shares these messages are key ideas; who decides what the key ideas are in the research? How does Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing influence research and the research findings?
The theme Our Story focuses on defining directions for Indigenous Research (capitalised on purpose). This theme talks about enterprise and business in research. Other organisations and universities gain funding and monies from a variety of government and non-government agencies to develop research. This theme is to think about Indigenous peoples funding their own research and research evaluation and includes the employment and education pathways that research can offer that is specifically about Indigenous ways of thinking, knowing and doing. This is about understanding our own research, our own research methods and defining these, owning these and the opportunities this has to support, lead and enhance enterprise and educational pathways. It is about walking and talking together to develop understanding across two knowledge systems.
This theme specifically recognises the needto share research not just between non- indigenous and indigenous peoples but between other Indigenous peoples – locally, nationally and globally. There are already a number of research organisations in Australia – National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), AIATSIS and local /regional groups. Building on this we are asking - Why and how we might share research? What can we learn from each other and from others? How can we learn from each other? Linked to the other themes, this theme recognises the need for active Indigenous researchers and researcher groups; and for supporting each other in building these knowledges, knowing, being and doing communities. This theme recognises the work already developed with non-Indigenous researchers and focuses on supporting these networks.
I joined the team in April 2016, just in time for the team meeting at Tennant Creek, where it was realised that the team needed someone to analyse the data that was being generated across the different communities.
Being a part of the WCE Initiative has been a wonderful experience and I have learnt so much from being a part of this team with such diverse backgrounds that supported each other throughout the initiative.
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