Decolonising our research

Published: 19 August 2021
Last edited: 23 August 2021

One of the major learnings from the evolution of the University of Wollongong's (UOW) Blue Economy work is the need to be open to alternative ways of seeing the world. Our partnership with the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council and the influence of our Aboriginal co-investigators have led to a significant focus on decolonising our research, and methods for decolonising environmental decision making. This has largely involved a series of workshops with team member and Traditional Knowledge Holder Jade Kennedy, who pioneered the innovative Jindaola program within UOW. The Jindaola program is designed to reconcile and build relationships across different knowledge systems.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

The entire research team underwent regular and routine engagement with our Indigenous coinvestigators. Indigenous Blue Futures became a cross cutting strategy in the project which influenced all aspects of project design, methodology analysis and reporting.

Lessons learned

We learned through this process that we all carry with us our own sets of values and assumptions that will always influence our research and the ways we see the world. Engaging with the learnings of Jindaola allowed us to examine and challenge those existing values and assumptions and opened the way for more innovative and collaborative ways of thinking.

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