Indigenous Research Strategy

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Background to the SPRC Indigenous Research Strategy

The SPRC Indigenous Research Strategy is implemented by SPRC staff who take part in the SPRC Indigenous Research Strategy Group (IRSG). Members of the group are dedicated to learning more about Indigenous research, sharing knowledge about Indigenous research with colleagues and improving the way the SPRC engages with Indigenous communities to do research.

The IRSG started in 2006. From the beginning, the group’s activities involved promoting best practice in Indigenous research by liaising with staff regarding their practices around involving (or not involving) Indigenous people in their research, and by organising cultural competency research training for staff. In response to interest from other areas of UNSW, the group was opened to wider networks and began sharing research experiences, queries and knowledge with colleagues from centres, schools and departments across the university.

Structure of the group

The IRSG meets four times every calendar year. Attendance at meetings is voluntary, and group membership remains open to all interested staff members and students. The Chair of the group is appointed by group members, and a new Chair may be appointed at the discretion of the group. The role of the Chair is to organise group meetings, work with colleagues to invite guests to attend meetings, record minutes, and distribute information about the group to SPRC and other relevant colleagues within the university. The Chair may seek support to fulfil this role.

Action areas for the SPRC Indigenous Research Strategy from 2017

Professional development

The group will seek opportunities to share knowledge and experiences of Indigenous research to continue learning about Indigenous research. This will be achieved through sharing knowledge about their research projects, and staying well-informed about the latest discussions concerning Indigenous research and policy at the national and international levels, including initiatives of the Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC).

The IRSG considers it the responsibility of all SPRC researchers to consider how their proposals, projects and dissemination affect Indigenous peoples, to follow Indigenous research protocols and to seek advice about good practice from the IRSG if necessary.

Networking and collaboration

The group will continue to seek opportunities to involve colleagues from the wider university, and explore possibilities of collaborating on research or other projects with scholars or Indigenous people or communities external to SPRC.

A member of the IRSG will sit on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee in Indigenous Strategy, and the School of Social Sciences Indigenous Strategy Group, for the purposes of informing SPRC about faculty business in Indigenous areas, and maximising the possibility for collaboration with colleagues external to the Centre.

Student and staff recruitment and retention

SPRC staff will work with faculty and university colleagues, for example the School of Social Sciences, to identify opportunities to host Indigenous undergraduate students during their field placement or internship towards their degree requirements.

Where appropriate, SPRC staff will seek opportunities to recruit Indigenous PhD candidates and staff. These PhD candidates and staff will have the full support of Indigenous staff at the Centre, and support offered through Nura Gili Indigenous Programs, UNSW.

SPRC will support Indigenous staff members to seek and secure mentorship opportunities and supportive professional networks.


This Action Plan will be initially approved by the IRSG and then reviewed and updated annually to ensure that it remains current and in line with UNSW strategy and best research practice. The Plan may be updated earlier in 2018 in response to the 2025 Indigenous Strategy.