Digital Support for Indigenous Research Methodologies
Research undertaken by outsiders into issues of concern to Aboriginal communities frequently ignores community culture and the knowledge embedded within Aboriginal communities. Methodologies are adopted which perpetuate the colonialist mindset of non-indigenous Australians leading to failed solutions to Aboriginal problems. This paper describes an Aboriginal-led community-based research project, exploring the role of Aboriginal Australians in caring for, and transforming, their own communities. It focuses on the roles that Information Systems can play when providing an accessible platform for Aboriginal voices. The authors conducted an in-depth case study of one Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO), the Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group (IKMSG). The research consisted of a social network analysis (SNA) of the inter-organisational links of the IKMSG; interviews and focus groups with members of the IKMSG and the co-design of their first website. The prominence of the IKMSG in the SNA maps suggests that its work in the community is highly respected and that the model produced by this research can act as a guide for success in other ACCOs. The findings have been used to develop a theoretical model of Aboriginal community engagement and intervention. This model can enable authentic outcomes to projects which address Aboriginal concerns and support the conduct of community-led research in Aboriginal communities.
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