The 2021 AIATSIS Summit held on Kaurna Country (Adelaide) was an opportunity for researchers, Prescribed Body Corporate’s and communities alike to share their experiences and knowledge with others.
During the Summit, a number of grant recipients funded through the Indigenous Research Exchange grant program, presented on the scope and initial findings of their research.
Their projects explore Yolŋu children’s experiences, Indigenous women in remote communities as on-Country evaluators, and best practice cultural resilience service delivery to Indigenous children in out- of- home care. The various presentations reflected the diverse array of research projects funded through the Indigenous Research Exchange.
On Day 1 of the Summit, Alison Sentence and Natasha Hunter of the ABC Foundation presented on their AWRAE (Aboriginal Women’s Research Assistant and Evaluation) training project.
The focus of the pilot study is to train Aboriginal women in Karratha, Derby and Broome to be on-Country evaluators and researchers. The project aims to address the discrepancy between Aboriginal people as researchers versus Aboriginal peoples as the researched.
The women participating in the training are involved in the design of their research from the beginning and are employed throughout the process. The program combines on-Country employment and training opportunities, and decolonising research practice.
During the same session on Day 2 of the Summit, Elaine Läwurrpa Maypilama, Gaylene Yenhu Gurruwiwi and Rajee Henderson, in partnership with Charles Darwin University, presented on their project, Working together, Yolŋu (Aboriginal) families, educators and researchers. The project focuses on the benefits of support for Yolŋu children in Galiwin’ku to build on their strong cultural foundation as they move into early childhood programs and school. They hope that as an outcome of this project, educators, researchers and government recognise the strength of culture and the Yolŋu kinship system.
Cultural Resilience for Children in Out of Home Care
The Central Queensland Indigenous Development (CQID) project Cultural Resilience for Children in Out of Home Care was presented by Suzi Blair on Day 2 of the Summit. Their project aims to create an evidence base to be used by government which accurately reflects the requirements for best practice service delivery for Aboriginal children in out of home care. Suzi explained that the project is underpinned by CQID’s understanding that Indigenous services are best delivered by Indigenous people. Their goal is that the research will be used by government to inform future policies and programs.