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Research grants and projects

Our grants program supports research in priority themes.

Projects must address the following funding priorities that align with the priorities in the 2020 Closing the Gap Report and National Agreement on Closing the Gap, and the priorities determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The current funding priorities are:

  • Valuing Indigenous knowledge and methods
  • Cultural resurgence and resilience
  • Indigenous governance and prosperity
  • Rethinking engagement with governments
  • Opportunities provided by technological change

All projects must:

  • Demonstrate strong Indigenous leadership
  • Have relevance or impact beyond the community or project
  • Provide research and/or data into the Knowledge Exchange Platform

We support projects across Australia in a range of critical policy areas such as:

  • children’s education and out of home care
  • women’s imprisonment
  • Indigenous evaluation
  • town planning; land management
  • governance
  • trade and diplomacy
  • governance and nation-building
  • educative outcomes from art
2020-2021 Indigenous Research Exchange Grants Program map

Successful 2020-2021 grant projects funded by the AIATSIS Indigenous Research Exchange.

Round 2 grant recipients

Applicant Project Location of project

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Insights into supporting the wellbeing of older Aboriginal people

What constitutes wellbeing changes over time but remains intrinsic to quality of life. We will explore what sustains the wellbeing of older Aboriginal people experiencing grief, loss and the staff who care for them.


University of Canberra

"Waka Ngurrkanhayngu: Regenerating the existence of life": Reducing the risk of natural and social disasters reviving and strengthening

Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples working together two-way to facilitate the remote community Galiwin’ku reviving and strengthening their Yolŋu law, knowledge, culture and governance to heal from and reduce the risk of natural and social disasters.


University of Melbourne

Stigma Stories

Working with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company to co-design and evaluate a theatre-based model for sexual health education in Victoria. The project will generate knowledge around community-engaged, participatory approaches to sexual health education for First Nations communities.


Centre for Inclusive Design

Breaking the silence

Research into a culturally appropriate, co-designed Artificial Intelligence translation tool for Aboriginal visual (sign) language to English. This will support first contact and communication between mainstream justice/health systems and community.


Taragara Aboriginal Corporation

Mura Maarni: Chasing Mob through the Archives

Mura Maarni is an oral history and interdisciplinary multimedia research project that focuses on the Mura of the Corner Country now held in collecting institutions such as archives, galleries and museums.


Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Ltd

Taking the next steps: Informing the transformation of the research sector to respond to Aboriginal research priorities and ways of conducting research

Health research contributes to improved quality of life and longevity. We aim to inform sector development to achieve equitable outcomes through Aboriginal- identified research priorities and principles that inform the conduct of research.


University of New South Wales

Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience voices in mental health and suicide prevention

This project will evaluate the experience of the first cohort of individuals recruited to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre as they are provide input into mental health and suicide prevention initiatives


UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research

Setting the foundation for Aboriginal community-led child protection research

This project will establish Aboriginal community-based frameworks, mechanisms and capabilities to drive child welfare policy reforms that align to Aboriginal values and aspirations, and build the localised evidence-base for Aboriginal child welfare systems and practice.


Institute for Collaborative Race Research

Still Here: Sovereignty and the Queensland Aboriginal Community Controlled Sector

This project explores how the Queensland Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations support communities, exercise sovereignty, and negotiate with state agencies. ACCO partners will reflect on their struggles and achievements, and identify pathways to policy transformation.


Tangentyere Council Aboriginal Corporation

Local Decision-Making: Priority Setting in the Alice Springs Town Camps

Utilising our unique Wellness Framework we review surveys and place-based data from Alice Springs Town Camps, identifying priorities, community-controlled approaches to complex issues, and strategy with the NT Government, improving decision-making resulting in social transformation.


Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Coporation

Gulumarri Ngaja: All come together

The Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation seeks to capture, evaluate and report on 20 years of continuing innovative generative practices that have sustained Yindjibarndi Law, Knowledge, and Language and Cultural Resilience through contemporary expressions of Yindjibarndi identity.


Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation

Gurindji Heritage Project/Keeping Place

The Gurindji inspired 'Wave Hill Walk-off' was a defining moment for Indigenous recognition in Australia. This project celebrates this by framing a physical and digital heritage project/keeping place meeting traditional owners' aspirations.


University of Technology Sydney

Indigenous Governing Authorities — Creating Jurisdictional Space for the Implementation of Indigenous Law

This project explores ‘statutory authorities’ as a possible response to First Nations’ need for pluralist governing structures through which they can exercise land jurisdiction, fulfil responsibilities to Country & manage relationships with settler-colonial governments.


Round 1 grant recipients

Applicant Project Location of project
Victoria University

Blak Women’s Healing

Through storytelling modelling and community arts practice, this project will collect stories from Aboriginal women who are incarcerated or at risk of intervention by the justice system, through the use of cultural practices that enable resilience, connection and identity building.


The Australian National University

Repatriation, healing and wellbeing: understanding success for repatriation policy and practice

Co-designing and trialling a protocol with the National Museum of Australia to translate findings into repatriation engagement. This will inform the development of key principles in a model for local adaption by other museums and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations, and recommendations for policy and practice nationally and internationally.

Yolngu Nations Assembly Aboriginal Corporation

The Ngarra Rom Project

Led by the Yolngu Nations Assembly, this project will document and share the vitality and true meaning of the nation’s traditional legal system. Research and resources will be created to directly influence systems, policy and practice surrounding Aboriginal customary law and its interface with the mainstream Australian legal system.

Central Queensland Indigenous Development

Cultural Resilience for Children in Out of Home Care

A community consultation project which Identifies standards and methodology for a best practice cultural strengthening program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out of home care.

Charles Darwin University

Understanding pathways to support Yolngu children and families to achieve string learning in two systems

Building on extensive research, consultations and current work in this community, this project will facilitate effective engagement between Yolngu and Balanda (non-Indigenous), identifying sustainable systems and processes for knowledge exchange.

Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC)

Following the Trade Routes

This project will bring together Elders from WA, NT and SA with knowledge of the trade routes. Audio and visual documentation will record song, story and cultural maintenance to document this long term cultural practice that will benefit emerging Elders and anthropologists into the future.

Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council

Environmental Stewardship Resurgence in Walbanga (Yuin Nation) Land and Sea Country

Evidence based research that aims to inform hazard mitigation and disaster management strategies. Mogo and Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Councils will develop a toolkit for Rangers to strengthen their capacity to influence environmental management decisions across Country. This project will provide opportunities for Rangers to restore, reclaim and enact their stewardship practices.

ABC Foundation Ltd

AWRAE: Aboriginal Women’s Research Assistant & Evaluation Training Project

This project will enable Aboriginal women to access adequate mentoring and support to learn evaluation skills that will lead to effective appropriate and coordinated community responses with the ambition to grow Indigenous led and owned training courses.

Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation

Mapping Boodjar: Walyalup Fremantle Cross-Cultural Mapping

Mapping Boodjar documents and visualises Whadjuk Noongar and non-Aboriginal knowledge and language within an urban landscape to promote culture, embed Whadjuk knowledge into built environment practices, and generate opportunities for community development and transformational learning.


Warmun Art Centre

Resilience through art as education

Researching how art was a source of knowledge and focus on health and wellbeing will contribute to create a collections policy, document oral histories and work with youth to create new content for use in research and education.

Undalup Association

A Model for Integrating Cultural Knowledge Systems and Western Science in the management of Wadandi Boodja (Margaret River), Western Australia

This project will develop an interactive cultural map and database which can be utilised as a strategic planning tool that leads to land management plans.