About the presentation
Evidence suggests that there is a long history of non-Indigenous people conducting research on Indigenous people. Recent scholarship has argued that the involvement and leadership of Indigenous people through Indigenous research in their communities increases the cultural and contextual specificity of the research findings. This is particularly relevant in remote Indigenous communities across Australia. In August 2015, a Remote Indigenous Researcher Forum (RIRF) was planned and delivered in partnership between Charles Darwin University and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. This was supported through the Whole of Community Engagement (WCE) initiative. It involved bringing together 27 remote Indigenous researchers from across the Northern Territory and Torres Strait Islands to provide a collaborative forum to share and discuss research issues and strategies important to them. Key outcomes associated with RIRF were the establishment of Research “Us” Aboriginal Corporation (a structural entity) by December 2015; and the subsequent development of a Memorandum of Understanding between Research “Us” and the Office of Pro Vice Chancellor – Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University. This reflects both a commitment and agreement to continue to work in partnership within remote Indigenous research contexts in the Northern Territory. This presentation is about this journey. It is a story about self-determination and leadership and how Research “Us” provides a vehicle for the engagement of community-based researchers to conduct, manage and monitor participative research opportunities in remote Indigenous contexts. It demonstrates that Indigenous leadership with self-determination in mind is essential to conducting culturally respectful, ethical and meaningful research and evaluation at the grass roots community level.