In October 2020 AIATSIS published the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code). This document supersedes and replaces the AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies 2012 (GERAIS). All references to GERAIS in Australian research codes and guidance should be taken to refer to this Code.
The release of the AIATSIS Code will see a 12-month implementation period. Other supporting resources and templates will be developed and published during the implementation period and beyond.
The AIATSIS Code respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values and worldviews, acknowledging the wisdom and diversity of Indigenous knowledge systems. When announcing the review of the AIATSIS guidelines, then AIATSIS Council Chair, Professor Michael McDaniel, said that engaging ethically means many things but ultimately it is about respect and honour.
For me, it is yindyamarra, a Wiradjuri concept which means to act with honour and respect, wisdom, to go slowly and act responsibly, be gentle and polite and honest with each other, be careful of the words and actions you put out to the world and understand the impact they have.
There are many similar examples within Indigenous knowledge traditions that articulate how to act in the right spirit, with integrity and with respect for Country and for all living things.