Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities continue to face challenges that impact on all facets of life. Our researchers are combining multidisciplinary knowledge — both ancient and new — to develop solutions that will improve the wellbeing and support the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.
Across our research, we collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and communities to ensure the strategies we develop are culturally appropriate and underpinned by Indigenous knowledge, practice and perspective.
At the School of Education, Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker is investigating how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content is taught in Australian schools and the impact it can have on the identity and self-esteem of young children. Professor Rhonda Oliver is exploring the benefits of using translanguaging in the classroom and developing more culturally appropriate assessments to improve, celebrate and nurture the literacy and communication skills of Aboriginal children in remote and regional areas.
Together with the Telethon Kids Institute, we’re also working on the Ngulluk Koolunga Ngulluk Koort project to connect Perth’s Aboriginal community to policymakers and service providers to create better education and care outcomes for young Aboriginal children and their families.
Protection, conservation and restoration of country is inherent to the long-term wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. At the ARC Training Centre for Healing Country, we’re fusing Indigenous knowledge and traditional approaches with western science to restore country and drive an Indigenous-led land management economy.
Through the Healing Land, Healing People project, Curtin researchers are blending Aboriginal cultural knowledge, history and scientific expertise to generate new strategies to slow the decline of biodiversity.
The team on the Reconnecting to Rivers project is exploring the link between rivers and community wellbeing, and applying the knowledge of Whadjuk Nyungar Elders to improve the long-term prospects of Western Australia’s river systems.
Protecting culture and heritage
We’re finding ways to preserve, nourish and communicate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices and languages. Our researchers are using virtual reality technology to turn mission sites into healing spaces for survivors and families of the Stolen Generations.
At the Centre for Culture and Technology, Professor Kim Scott is leading the Indigenous Culture and Digital Technologies program to explore how digital technology can consolidate and communicate Indigenous cultural knowledge. The program includes the Wirlomin Language and Stories project to revitalise and share the language, memories, songs and stories of the Nyungar people with the wider world.
Supporting and empowering communities
At the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, we’re investigating how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s cultural identity, engagement and wellbeing links to socio-economic status. Together with industry partners, we’re addressing the inequities of the superannuation system and exploring how housing conditions can shape and support young Aboriginal people’s health and educational outcomes.
Supporting health and wellbeing
Curtin is exploring a range of culturally secure ways to improve and support the long-term mental and physical health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We’re partnering with Telethon Kids Institute and Aboriginal Elders to promote bush tucker consumption and safe sun exposure to reduce vitamin D deficiency among Aboriginal people.
Curtin’s Associate Professor Michael Wright and his team are collaborating with Aboriginal Elders on the Australian Government-funded Our Journey, Our Story project to co-design more culturally appropriate and responsive mental health services for Aboriginal young people and their families.
Mr Frederick Yasso
Aboriginal cultural studies, Aboriginal health, Aboriginal studies, Aboriginal mental health, Public health.
Professor Kim Scott
Aboriginal studies, Creative writing, Cultural studies, Literature.
Professor Stephen van Leeuwen
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental knowledge, Biogeography and phylogeography, Biological sciences, Ecology, Environmental impact assessment, Environmental science and management, Plant biology, Plant systematics and taxonomy.
Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker
Aboriginal education, Aboriginal identity and self-esteem, Aboriginal wellbeing and health, Community development, Cultural transmission.
Associate Professor Michael Wright
Associate Professor Graeme Gower
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