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Valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young Men

This project aims to identify how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men remain strong and resilient in the face of adversity in life. To search for a strengths-based approach in the data, through the use of yarning and film, in order to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in society and the economy, where deficit thinking and colonial practices have created distrust. Through the sovereign data of communities engaged in Far North Queensland and Western Australia, we hope to influence governments to adopt strong, financially sustainable programs throughout the Commonwealth, in order to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men in their greater Australian society and economy.

This research will be co-constructed and co-designed with communities, and our approaches will be adapted to the needs and requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men, through the advice and direction of Elders, cultural representatives and paid local researchers. All data from the project—including its outputs—will be co-owned by the participants, as their sovereign data. Extending on the principle of research done with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men, this project will be undertaken for the young men.

The methodology uses yarning and film, in order to allow deep, and in-depth conversations about personal strengths in the face of adversity, in group and individual contexts. Young men will be able to offer their advice in how to deal with some of life’s problems and hurdles. The methodology is designed to be adaptable, empowering and culturally sensitive. It is a qualitative approach that will be co-designed and co-constructed by the young men, in consultation with their Elders, and other cultural leaders and representatives.

In terms of benefits, rather than produce another report that identifies problems, this research project will foster the talents and strengths of the young men, teaching highly valuable research and film production skills that will improve the social capital of the young men, in addition to the ownership of their own sovereign data. This ensures their continued feedback and input into policies and decisions that will affect their lives.

Capacity development activities:

Expected outcomes

Film products, a final report to government, published articles and other literature.

Related resources:

Project leader

Dr Mick Adams

Administering institution:

Edith Cowan University

Completion date:

Expected May 2019