Poster Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Case study: Implementing a decolonising framework within institutional processes (#431)

Melissa Sweet 1 , Lynore Geia 2 , Peter Radoll 3 , Kerry McCallum 3
  1. Croakey, and Canberra University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  2. James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia
  3. University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia

This is a case study in using decolonising processes in an effort to create opportunities for change within an institution, as well as to inform an action research project undertaken by a non-Indigenous PhD candidate. This poster will outline a decolonising framework for research and practice, developed to inform the PhD project, and how it was implemented into the processes and arrangements for a yarning circle, which was organised instead of the usual format for a PhD pre-submission seminar. The aim was to create a culturally safe and respectful process that enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations to provide feedback to the PhD project’s findings, outcomes and recommendations. It also aimed to produce useful outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participating in the yarning circle, as well as the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, particularly those involved with the PhD research. The yarning circle was also organised with a view to contributing to the development of relationships and networks to help further decolonising agendas and processes, including both within the institution and in relation to the PhD project outcomes and recommendations. It also sought to provide some useful outcomes for Indigenous faculty and students. As part of the framework, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ voices were privileged during the yarning circle, and non-Indigenous participants were encouraged to participate through deep, reflexive listening practices. Principles of respect and reciprocity informed the organising and conduct of the event. This poster will report on the outcomes and reflections arising from this yarning circle, held at the University of Canberra on 2 September.