Establishing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Leadership Group at NAL

We are very pleased to announce the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Leadership Group, to strengthen guidance regarding cultural aspects of current and future National Acoustic Laboratories’ research relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

Research relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must enable community stakeholders to have a say in what is researched, how the research is conducted, how the results are interpreted and communicated, and how the findings are translated into meaningful outcomes. NAL acknowledges that Australian research has often not fulfilled these criteria.

 ‘…the researcher identifies the priorities — a “top-down” approach. All too often, this has meant that the interests of researchers do not coincide with the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.’

Arabena and Moodie, 2011

What will the group do?

The Research Leadership Group will provide guidance on research priorities, and the choice of research questions and project methodologies to ensure that they are culturally appropriate. The oversight and guidance provided by the group will help ensure that Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing are reflected in our working and methods throughout the life of projects, with the shared goal of ensuring that communities are heard, and research findings are translated to meaningful outcomes for the community.

‘Enabling relationships that prioritise Indigenous knowledge and decision making across all forums within the research network, with community voices continually sought using cycles of feedback and learning that ensures community perspectives reflect those that represent the community.’

Duke et al, 2021

Who is in the group?

Members of the Group are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, from various states, territories, and remoteness areas, and have clinical or research expertise in public health, ear health, hearing, language, communication development, or early years education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Some also have expertise in leadership of Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander research, and personal experience of otitis media (OM) and hearing loss, or of caring for children with OM/hearing loss.

Activities in 2022

The Research Leadership Group met for the first time in December 2022. The contribution of this important group, and the individuals involved, will be acknowledged when we present and publish content relating to research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

Duke DLM, Prictor M, Ekinci E, Hachem M, Burchill LJ. Culturally Adaptive Governance-Building a New Framework for Equity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research: Theoretical Basis, Ethics, Attributes and Evaluation. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(15).

Arabena K, Moodie D. The Lowitja Institute: building a national strategic research agenda to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Medical journal of Australia. 2011;194(10):532–4.

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