Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing

Dudgeon, P., Bray, A., Darlaston-Jones, D. , &  Walker, R. (2020).  Aboriginal Participatory action research: An Indigenous research methodology strengthening decolonisation and social and emotional wellbeing, Discussion Paper, Lowitja Institute, Melbourne. DOI: 10.48455/smch-8z25


Focusing on key Indigenous wellbeing paradigms, discourses, and disciplines this discussion paper presents a distinctive Aboriginal Participatory Action Research (APAR) approach as a transformative Indigenous Research Methodology.

It also explores Indigenous Standpoint Theory, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Indigenous Research Methods and Methodologies as key elements in decolonising research, building self-determination in communities, and contributing to Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) and Indigenous Psychology.

Drawing on three community projects — the Kimberley Empowerment, Healing and Leadership Program, the National Empowerment Project and the Cultural, Social and Emotional Wellbeing Program — this paper demonstrates how APAR contributes to Indigenous SEWB and Indigenous Psychology. Finally, it examines the interrelationship of core components of APAR articulating an Indigenous epistemology, ontology, axiology (Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing) and methodology covering Indigenous specific methods, guiding principles, research protocols and ethical guidelines.