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Dynamic duo tackle racism against Aboriginal youth

Dr Bep Uink (left) and Dr Rebecca Bennett (right)

Two Murdoch researchers are leading the way in testing a North American model to determine if racism prevention is transferable to Australian Aboriginal youth.

Senior Research Fellow Dr Bep Uink and Senior Lecturer Dr Rebecca Bennett from  Murdoch University's Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre are heading a study called Racism and Allyship in Aboriginal Youth Spaces (RAAYS).

In 2020, Dr Uink and Dr Bennett were recipients of a prestigious $585,000 Australian Research Council Discovery Indigenous grant, which aims to develop and extend the research expertise of Indigenous Australian researchers and to support and train the next generation.

The study explores the experiences and effects of racism among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents, as well as non-Indigenous adults’ capacity to support these young people and to combat racism in the broader society.

Dr Uink said the study will look specifically at subtle types of racism that are harder to see and sanction, but nevertheless have a significant impact on Aboriginal young people’s wellbeing.

“It is the first study looking into the experiences of subtle racism in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth community in Noongar country,” Dr Uink said.

This research falls under the Aboriginal Culture Education and Equity (ACEE) research lab in the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre at Murdoch University.

Kulbardi Manager Sharna Ninyette said the ACEE lab’s mission is to provide students with training in a multidisciplinary research approach.

“This training includes Indigenous methodologies, necessary for solving complex societal problems and to provide a platform for strengths-based Indigenous led research with local, national, and global applications,” she said.

“The lab also provides multi-disciplinary culturally secure space for six Aboriginal higher degree by research students, whose research include a variety of topics such as Aboriginal Health Promotion, Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander people in higher education, family and domestic violence, and Aboriginal Ethics.”

Other recent projects out of the ACEE lab include:

  • Interrogating relationships between student support initiatives and Indigenous student progression (NCSEHE)
  • LGBTIQA+ Inclusive Curriculum Design with LGBTIQA+ Students as Partners (LEAD)
  • Indigenous women’s gendered experiences at university (Educating Rita Projects)
  • Walkern Katajin: Rainbow Knowledge (NHMRC; Healthway)
  • Diversity in Numbers

This research supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote good health and well-being.

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Posted on:

27 Jun 2022

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