The Indigenous Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management Case Study Project aims to provide evidence-based research and resources to support the development of more effective approaches to managing conflict involving Indigenous Australians.
Indigenous perspectives on conflict management often differ markedly from mainstream understandings of 'dispute resolution.' Some Indigenous practitioners identify their practice as 'peacemaking' or use other terms in describing what they do which embrace a deeper level of healing and renewal of relationships.
Increased interest in Indigenous approaches to dispute resolution and conflict management is both welcomed and regarded with a degree of apprehension by Indigenous communities and practitioners who have worked for years to develop meaningful and effective processes. There is concern that Indigenous ownership of dispute management or 'peacemaking' processes could be inadvertently lost if research findings are taken out of context from the cultural and community dimensions of effective practice.
The objective of the Project is to deliver recognition and support for the solid work that is being carried out and to enable current practices to be refined and extended. Its conclusions are intended to support, consolidate and build on Indigenous knowledge and experience. They are not intended as a substitute for that knowledge and experience.