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Cultural identities, health and wellbeing of Indigenous young people in school

Our stories, our way: Cultural identities and health and wellbeing of Indigenous young people in diverse school settings

This project explores the views, experiences and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in relation to their cultural identities and implications to health and wellbeing. Underpinned by Indigenous Standpoint Theory, this study draws upon a participatory action approach to encourage young people to participate as co-researchers. This methodology is utilised to build the capacity of participants and position researchers to decisively engage with young people in order to foreground their experiences as young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The project has strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, with Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander senior and early career researchers leading the project. The research design encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and involvement at all phases, including the appointment of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and facilitators, as well as leadership opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people through the research design.

The project team expects to generate new knowledge, including a framework for designing programs that support the development of resilience and strong cultural identity within the school and community settings. The outcomes will provide important insights for the health and education fields to inform policy and practice in relation to the best interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, as articulated by them.

The study will consider what benefits result from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and their communities when they identify and design programs to support and strengthen their cultural identity. It will generate knowledge where there is a significant gap. Its outcomes will be significant because the project:

Project leader

Associate Professor Grace Sarra

Administering institution:

Queensland University of Technology

Completion date:

Expected March 2019