Research is a core function of the Centre for Indigenous Studies. It is our goal to develop Indigenous research skills in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, within a frame of national, regional and local issues affecting Indigenous peoples, through the completion of research projects that are;
developed in collaboration with Indigenous communities and community organisations,
focused on issues of relevance to Indigenous communities and community organisations, and within which
information gained from the community rightfully respects the ownership and responsibility of Indigenous moral copyright.
Beyond developing Indigenous research capacity amongst our own staff, the Centre for Indigenous Studies seeks to create wider regional Indigenous research capacity through on-the-ground projects on issues of concern to Indigenous peoples of the region. The Centre for Indigenous Studies also seeks to engage with experienced non-Indigenous researchers with wide experience so as to act as a knowledge support base for Indigenous peoples of the Kimberley.
The Centre for Indigenous Studies is developing research expertise which will generate valuable evidence on issues affecting Kimberley peoples across the core themes of health, education and Country. A number of research projects are currently in progress. The following represent a sample of projects already underway.
In October 2007, the Fitzroy Valley Alcohol and Other Drug Management Committee requested the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO) develop an interim report which outlined some of the initial impacts of the mandated liquor restrictions after three months of implementation. The report provides a statistical overview of the impact being made on key services for the period of October 2007 through to December 2007. It does not make any recommendations regarding the current restrictions, include any anecdotal information from the community or service providers, nor does it seek to explain variations in statistics.
The University of Notre Dame Australia has been commissioned to develop a full evaluation of the current liquor restrictions including statistical and anecdotal information. This report was completed in mid March 2008. This work constitutes stage one of a three stage research project.
Stage two of this research project involved the completion of an Inventory of Alcohol prevention programs in Fitzroy Crossing and valley communities.
Stage three of the project will complete the evaluation of the impact of the Fitzroy Valley Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Program Project. It will assess the impact of the ban on take-away alcohol over a twelve month period.
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The Catholic Diocese of Broome has commissioned the Centre for Indigenous Studies to complete a research project examining Child Protection in Indigenous communities in the Kimberley. This project engages with Catholic Religious Congregations, Church personnel, schools staff, agencies and communities with a strong Catholic affiliation to examine what policies and processes exist in regard to child protection, and also to seek feedback from these groups in regard to what future response may be needed on this issue. The research is being funded via a grant from Caritas Australia.
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As a registered training organisation, Broome Campus of Notre Dame
is uniquely placed to offer a range of programs offering a pathway from vocational education to tertiary education. Within the Kimberley region the vocational sector is well served by Technical and Further Education Western Australia (TAFEWA). However, Indigenous intake and engagement with the tertiary sector is low by comparison. This research project is being completed in-house to ascertain how Notre Dame can better serve the members of the Kimberley Community.
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