Flexibility the key to remote community research

01-May-2018

Early-career researcher Jeanette Millier will give the keynote address at the Knowledge Intersections II symposium.

Early-career researcher Jeanette Millier will give the keynote address at the Knowledge Intersections II symposium.


Central Australian researcher Jeanette Millier has been invited to provide the keynote address at the Knowledge Intersections II symposium at Charles Darwin University on 17 May.

The PhD candidate, who is undertaking a “families study” in Papunya, said she would explain how a flexible approach to gathering information would ultimately raise the standard for research practices in remote communities.

“I will talk about how the stories for my PhD were collected,” Ms Millier said.

“I discovered early in the information–gathering stage of my project that there were shortcomings in the initial process. 

Ms Millier said she needed to rethink the methodology so that the information-gathering process better represented the families while at the same time met the community, ethical and academic standards.

“Taking an organic approach resulted in stories being collected through the use of video ethnography, narrative methods and auto-ethnography enabling greater freedom and emphasis to the story-tellers,” she said.

“My presentation will explain the emergent processes that led to a mixed-methods approach with a mindset that involved constantly questioning systemic and personal and western cultural assumptions.”

Ms Millier is in the latter stages of an ethnological study that involves the collection of “authentic stories by a group of remote central Australian Aboriginal families who discuss the ‘growing up’ of their children”.

The one-day Knowledge Intersections II symposium will showcase the progress of more than 20 researchers working in central Australian contexts.

Presenters will explore the interdisciplinary and intercultural aspects of their work against the  themes of sustainability, and arts-based research.

Delegates will hear of new perspectives on issues of common concern and can expect to be inspired by the range of new ways local researchers are thinking about local issues,” she said.

The symposium will be held in the Higher Education theatre at Alice Springs campus on Thursday 17 May. The event is free and open to members of the public who register online (www.cdu.edu.au/events) by 10 May.