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Research Position Statement

Research on the issues impacting on Aboriginal education and training must benefit Aboriginal students, their families and their communities, focus on research priorities determined by the NSW AECG Inc, uphold ethical standards, utilise methodologies and methods appropriate to Aboriginal peoples, have Aboriginal people in the research project team including an Aboriginal Chief Investigator or Co-Chief Investigator, be collaborative and consultative, develop the research capacity of Aboriginal peoples, be presented in accessible formats to suit various audiences, acknowledge Aboriginal peoples who contributed to the research in any publication or presentation, invite Aboriginal people involved in the research to co-author any publication or co-present any presentation.

Background

Research involving Aboriginal peoples has a disparaging past that has contributed to distrust by many Aboriginal peoples toward researchers. It is therefore vitally important that research be conducted with Aboriginal people that upholds the highest ethical standards. One of NSW AECG Inc. objectives is: ‘Engaging in innovative research that examines issues impacting on Aboriginal education and training’. NSW AECG Inc. has a number of documents supporting the ethical conduct of research involving Aboriginal peoples including a research position statement, research principles and research priorities. This focus on research ensures that any engagement with research is conducted in a collaborative, consultative and ethical manner.

 Position

To engage in research that examines issues impacting on Aboriginal education and training, the following must occur:

  • The research must provide positive benefits to Aboriginal students, their families, and their communities. Early stages of research must determine benefits and a delivery plan.
  • Research topics must focus on priorities determined by the NSW AECG Inc.
  • Ethical standards must be upheld according to the principles outlined in the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies[1] Where applicable, NSW AECG Inc. must be consulted in the preparation of any ethics application forms, be provided with the ethics application when completed, be notified of any ethics committee feedback.
  • Methodologies and methods appropriate to Aboriginal peoples must be utilised. Researchers must privilege and draw upon Indigenous knowledges including community knowledges, academic and non-academic literature.
  • The research must have Aboriginal people in the research project team including an Aboriginal Chief Investigator or Co-Chief Investigator.
  • The research must be collaborative and consultative through all stages of the research process.
  • The research must develop the research capacity of Aboriginal peoples. This could involve developing skills in research such as utilising software analysis tools or developing interviewing skills.
  • Results must be presented in accessible formats to suit various audiences.
  • Aboriginal people who contributed to the research must be acknowledged (including their role) in any publication or presentation relating to the research.
  • Aboriginal people who contributed to the research must be invited to co-author any publication or co-present any presentation relating to the research.

[1] Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. (2012). Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.  Retrieved from http://aiatsis.gov.au/research/ethical-research/guidelines-ethical-research-australian-indigenous-studies