Relationships are essential but not always easy: The role of methodology in embedding Aboriginal community and Country in academic research

Publication Name

Health Promotion Journal of Australia


This article is told as a story about how a project, Strong culture, healthier lifestyles, took steps towards decolonisation as an evolving methodological journey with Country. The story is primarily about how our methodology moved from a Western model of ‘doing’ research, to the research team being part of the research process, as team members with Country and the participating local community members: a methodology of partnership. First, we provide a general overview of the initial project to set up how we came to understand its disconnection to community and Country. Second, we unpack the storying approach as methodology that is bound with the local Country: Yuin on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Third, using the storying approach, we reflect through Country and the community to discover ways forward in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal knowledge partnerships. We share our story in an attempt to limit colonial practice (decolonisation) and replace it with a re-culturalising approach; the re-connecting of Country as a source of interconnectedness into the research process. Country includes all the living communities of nature, and we explore how this relationship in the human element (community) impacted and developed our methodology of partnership.

Open Access Status

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