Podcast shines a light on Indigenous ways of thinking and researching


How do Indigenous peoples approach thinking and researching, and how can we be more inclusive of Indigenous peoples and methods in a university environment?

These questions and more are discussed in a compelling podcast conceived by Dean (Research) and Theme Lead of Methodological Innovations in the Caring Futures Institute, Professor Joanne Arciuli.

“At Flinders University we have a number of Indigenous staff and students who generously help us grow our ways of thinking and researching,” she explains.

“I wanted to share a platform for some of these people to tell their stories.”

The podcast is consistent with Caring Futures Institute’s commitment to sharing discussions and disseminating information in a variety of forms, acknowledging the need to cater to different audiences and preferences.

Over four episodes, Prof Arciuli and her guests consider Indigenous ways of thinking and researching.

“I am extremely grateful to Dr Nina Sivertsen, Mr Tirritpa Ritchie and Ms Nancy Bates from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Associate Professor Tamara Mackean from the College of Medicine and Public Health for sharing their insights,” she says.

Professor Joanne Arciuli

Each guest speaks from personal and professional experience.

“We discussed unique aspects of Indigenous ways of thinking and researching and how those methods may or may not complement other types of methods,” Prof Arciuli says.

“We also talked about ways in which universities and research projects could be more inclusive of Indigenous peoples and methods.”

In the first episode, Dr Nina Sivertsen, a Sámi woman from Arctic, discusses her heritage and why Indigenous perspectives are important.

Dr Sivertsen reveals her life changed when she worked as a nurse in a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory.

“I learnt to understand more about kinship, traditions, networks, beliefs and heritage of Australian Aboriginal populations.”

“I could see many links to my mob back home in the Arctic.”

She says the experience highlighted inequities within the health system and the impact system failure has on Indigenous communities, influencing her future research.

The second episode features Kaurna man and occupational therapist, Mr Tirritpa Ritchie.

Tirritpa argues that scientific approaches are traditionally based on western knowledge.

“It is one way of thinking, it is one way of knowing, it’s one way of understanding the world around us.”

“So, if we’re considering other ways of knowing and understanding, of course there’s going to be some fantastic insights.”

Later in the series, Public Health Medicine Physician Tamara Mackean, a Waljen woman, discusses the importance of understanding trauma and what it means for First Nations people.

“Appreciating that level of trauma actually does need to come into the processes of care, and that’s not always done,” she states.

Prof Arciuli commissioned Barkindji woman Ms Nancy Bates to provide music for the podcast, while Nancy’s daughter Sarah was commissioned to contribute the visual artwork.

Nancy says those elements are deliberately untitled.

“I realise that my music says a lot, even when there’s no words, and that’s powerful.”

“This podcast reflects a deep desire … in the heart of a lot of Australians now to know more about the First People.”

Prof Arciuli is also grateful for the help of Dr Sara Javanparast, who was a member of staff in the Methodological Innovations theme and was responsible for organisation and production of the series.

“She dealt with the technical details of recording and editing with aplomb!”

Prof Arciuli says she would like to extend the series and interview more Indigenous people should they wish to share their stories.

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Inclusion and Disability Integrated Care Our Research