Strengthening Indigenous Research

Strengthening Indigenous Research Banner


The Indigenous Researchers Initiative ( supports Indigenous researchers who are interested in working with CDU and other organisations, guiding and carrying out research and evaluation work in urban and remote Aboriginal communities. The idea for the Indigenous Researchers Initiative grew out of the Yolŋu Aboriginal Consultants Initiative (YACI which ran from 2006-2013, and supported collaborative work between Yolŋu and CDU researchers working on university projects concerned with the health, education and well-being of Indigenous people. Many of the researchers involved in the Indigenous Research Initiative are small business owners, or employed through Indigenous research organisations. The website enables government, nongovernment and other funding organisations to get in touch with these researchers and discuss potential new projects.


Indigenous research micro-credentials are designed to recognise research skills ‘in-place’. They support the development of research engaging traditional knowledge practices and operating under the guidance of Indigenous authority. Micro-credentials are awarded to Indigenous researchers who are proficient in ‘both-ways’ research in their communities. Awardees are qualified to undertake intercultural research under elder authority, while engaging with nonIndigenous partners and organisations. They operate as dual-academy credentials, with each award requiring authorisation by Charles Darwin University and senior authorities within the community where the credential is awarded.


Indigenous Community-Based Researcher

Indigenous Community-Based Researcher

An Indigenous Community-Based Researcher credential provides opportunities for Indigenous people working in their home communities to learn about research work, and to be recognised for their skills in bilingual and cross-cultural facilitation. Training occurs on the job while working closely with CDU research staff. Participants will learn about designing research projects, interviewing, video and audio recording, research ethics and presenting research outcomes. They will be recognised for their skills working on the ground and with various organisations to facilitate culturally appropriate research. LINK TO THE FLYER

Senior Indigenous Community-Based Researcher

Senior Indigenous Community-Based Researcher

The Senior Indigenous Community-Based Researcher credential is available to senior Indigenous researchers with significant previous experience in community based cross-cultural research. It recognises strong cultural authority in the conduct of research projects, and an accumulation of prior achievement. Recipients of this credential demonstrate strong bilingual and cross-cultural research competency, and high level skills in research co-design and public communication. LINK TO THE FLYER

Indigenous Research Collaborator

Indigenous Research Collaborator

This credential acknowledges the participation and contribution made by an Indigenous community-based researcher to a collaborative research project. Earners will have worked in their home community under the guidance of senior advisors and with CDU staff on one or more research projects. They will have received introductory training in research ethics, and been given the opportunity to learn about research by watching research work being carried out by experienced Indigenous community-based researchers with whom they are familiar and comfortable. LINK TO THE WEBPAGE


Dr Michaela Spencer

Northern Institute
T. 08 8946 7251/8946 7468


GroundUp Flyer 2


GroundUp is an approach to research and service delivery which develops tools, methods, understandings and practices appropriate for the people, places and organisations with whom we work. We have named our research approach ‘GroundUp’ because of our commitment to working collaboratively on the ground, taking seriously the knowledge and governance of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. As such, our research involves participating in the collective life of particular places, and doing so in collaboration with local researchers and consultants who belong to that place or organisation. LINK TO THE FLYER

Contact the GroundUp team at Northern Institute:
Telephone 08 8946 7468