Researchers

Research involving Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders

Victoria University endorses and upholds the principles and practices outlined in:

  • The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (2012)
  • Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (2003)
  • The Australia Council for the Arts, Indigenous Cultural Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Music, Writing, Visual Arts, Media Arts and Performing Arts (2007)

and notes that reciprocal engagement is a necessity and central to this research.

Victoria University research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be approved by the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) before it can commence. The proposed research will only be approved if it complies with these guidelines. Researchers are strongly encouraged to engage with the Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit on projects of relevance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and prior to submission of an application to the HREC.

Guiding principles

Through the Vice Chancellor’s leadership of the Indigenous Participation Strategy and through the work of the Senior Leadership Team and the Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit, the University aims to further develop and enhance Indigenous knowledge across the institution, strengthen the University’s Indigenous research culture and engage respectfully with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.

The following principles will guide VU’s operations:

  • create and foster a culturally safe environment that welcomes, nurtures and recreates community, a community that is embedded in relationship to land, culture, law, and Elders;
  • share Indigenous knowledge, and translate and embed Indigenous practices into all its work, research, and curricula;
  • be accountable to Indigenous cultural values, protocols and norms, in a way that is respectful for all people through mutually engaged relationships.

For more information see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Acknowledgement Policy.

About the guidelines and protocols

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (2012), Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies

The Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies embody the best standards of ethical research and human rights. It is essential that Indigenous people are full participants in research projects that concern them, share an understanding of the aims and methods of the research, and share the results of this work. At every stage, research with and about Indigenous peoples must be founded on a process of meaningful engagement and reciprocity between the researcher and Indigenous people. 

National Health and Medical Research Council (2013), Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research

Developed by an NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee, Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (Values and Ethics) provides guidance to researchers on the complex considerations necessary in the conception, design and conduct of appropriate research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Australia Council for the Arts, Indigenous Cultural Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Music, Writing, Visual Arts, Media Arts and Performing Arts (2007)

These Protocols may have much broader application, and, as applicable, the University advises that any researchers accessing, using or reproducing music, literature, arts, images or ceremonies of Indigenous peoples, or Indigenous cultural materials conduct their research in accordance with these protocols.