At the Moondani Toombadool Centre here at Swinburne, we conduct research projects with Indigenous organisations, industry groups and other universities that focuses on contributing to Australia’s economic and social objectives.
Our aim is to provide high-impact research and partnerships creating positive change for Indigenous peoples, our students, staff and the wider Australian community.
We commit to research projects that directly support Indigenous peoples’ engagement in higher education studies, employment and career progression through Swinburne's Reconciliation Action Plan.
For well over one hundred years, governments and their agencies largely controlled the wages, savings and pensions of Indigenous Victorians. This occurred through a range of Stolen Wages practices, including non-payment or underpayment of wages, employment controls, and withholding of social security benefits and pensions. This project will investigate the history of these Stolen Wages practices and the impact of these practices on Victorian Indigenous communities.
In 2017, Swinburne implemented its 2017-19 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). This was the first university RAP that Reconciliation Australia endorsed at its highest level of Elevate.
Swinburne’s RAP had seven themes: leadership and governance, culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, engagement, teaching and learning, and research. The project will analyse the RAP and the impact of the RAP across the university.
Research Lead: Andrew Gunstone
Since 2005, I have commissioned social survey companies every five years to conduct surveys that investigate the attitudes and knowledge among the wider Australian community regarding a range of areas relating to reconciliation and Indigenous affairs.
This longitudinal study, conducted in 2005, 2010, 2015, and soon in 2020, provides significant insights into the attitudes and knowledge of the wider community regarding reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs.
From PAVE's vocational teaching in the Northern Territory to the Koori Centre and the establishment of the Moondani Toombadool Centre, Swinburne's relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities is extensive. This project will provide a way for staff, students and the greater community to engage with a detailed narrative of Swinburne's engagement and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
Central to under-pining the University's Elevate RAP, a comprehensive history of place and Indigenous involvement with Swinburne will be able to demonstrate the interlinking nature of histories of place, and the University's journey toward reconciliation in the present.
Australian Institute of Criminology Grant
To explore the extent to which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and community issues are addressed in Victorian pre-sentence reports and to identify differences in the nature of pre-sentence reports between the County Court and Koori County Court
Research Leads: Emma Gavin (PhD candidate), Professor Josie Arnold, Dr Jill Holt, Dr Emma Lee.
Community Contributors: Aunty Helen Fejo-Frith, Uncle Rossi Fejo-Frith, Aunty Jemima Miller, Aunty Dinah Norman, Uncle Jack, Clara Roberts.
This research project seeks to reframe approaches taken to research with Indigenous communities, in order to ensure research is culturally appropriate to the specific Indigenous community; and ensure that it has tangible benefits to the Indigenous community.
This involves a reworking of all aspects of a research project, beginning with the research design; ensuring Indigenous academics are in the research team; using Indigenous methodologies and knowledges; ensuring Indigenous understandings of consent (dual consent processes); elder approval and involvement; to the production of a research publication that is usable and beneficial for Indigenous communities.
This project also seeks to recognise and dismantle the limitations of the current academic system and its rigid inflexibility (coined "white-tape" in this research project) towards research by Indigenous academics working with Indigenous communities, in order to allow Indigenous researchers to research and publish in a manner which is not only culturally ethical, but which does not enforce western publication formats and rankings systems.
Australian Government, Visions of Australia Grant Scheme
This multisensory exhibition celebrates contemporary cultural expressions of Gija women’s song and dance cycles, known as Moonga Moonga, such as the water dwelling spirit woman dance. Moonga Moonga is a specific form of public performance narrative which incorporates painting, theatre, story and history.
A collaboration between Warmun Art Centre and Centre for Transformative Media Technologies, this exhibition combines live performance within virtual 3D scenography, digital projection art and 360-video to create immersive and interactive audience experiences.
This project will enable these song and dance cycles to be enacted and experienced publicly outside the East Kimberley for the first time.