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Our Research

‘In 2012 we began a vibrant new program, Indigenous Research Collaborations (IRC), supported through the Commonwealth Government’s Collaborative Research Network fund. This created an opportunity for our team to redefine our areas of excellence by directing our research efforts into three key specialisations: Indigenous education, Indigenous Languages and Indigenous Creative Arts. With Commonwealth Government support, we have built our research capacity over the past three years under the IRC program, including through awarding PhD fellowships to three of our Indigenous researchers. Our links with other research institutions under the IRC program has also delivered dividends. One example is a new arrangement in 2014 with AIATSIS whereby our major research ethics applications will be reviewed using their best-practice Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies (GERAIS).

Batchelor Institute has a proud tradition of excellence in quality teaching, learning and research. We are now better positioned than ever to be vital partners in Indigenous research. We are always open to new enquiries from researchers looking to collaborate with us.’
Dr Peter Stephenson, Head of Higher Education and Research

The Institute is proud of its both-ways philosophy, which is a cornerstone of the research and teaching and learning at Batchelor Institute. The Higher Degrees and Research team, led by Dr Peter Stephenson, also prides itself on the national and international relationships it has forged in recent years to support Indigenous research excellence. In 2012, the Institute formalised links with four research institutions under its Indigenous Research Collaborations program: Monash University, AIATSIS, Charles Darwin University and The Australian National University.

Beyond these links, Batchelor Institute has a strong track record of successful research partnerships with a range of Indigenous organisations, government and non-government bodies, industry and other research organisations. The Institute’s dedicated team of researchers is always open to approaches from other research organisations, community groups and individuals who are looking to collaborate in new research.

Our Research Focus

The research direction of Batchelor Institute has never been clearer. Guided under its current three year Compact with the Commonwealth Government, the Institute’s Research Plan is focused on four areas of research excellence: Indigenous Education, Indigenous Languages and Indigenous Creative Arts

Indigenous Education

Batchelor Institute researchers are involved in research at all stages of education. The Institute’s reputation for Indigenous learning and teaching has been built in large part on its commitment to Indigenous Education research. Many of the projects consider how ‘both-ways’ can assist the lifelong learning journeys of Indigenous students, from preschool education to post-graduate study. This includes considerable research in vocational education and training, successful tertiary enabling programs, e-learning and models of student retention.

The Institute has established a strong tradition of working closely with community groups, including those in remote locations, to advance research and to develop resources that support teaching and learning.

Further information on the Institute’s strength in Indigenous education can be found here.

Indigenous Languages

Batchelor Institute has a long tradition in Indigenous Languages and Linguistics research, collaborating closely with community-based languages activities primarily situated in the Northern Territory and Western Australia but also working with Communities in the Eastern States and Torres Strait when requested.

In 2014, the Institute reinvigorated the Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) as a service to support the revitalisation of the first languages of Australia. This is supported under a three-year Federal Government funding program. CALL, through its service offerings, contributes to the security of Australia’s intangible cultural heritage, the preservation of endangered languages and maintenance of their scientific and cultural integrity for future generations. CALL partners with Batchelor Press, the Institute’s publishing arm.

Further information on the Institute’s strength in Indigenous languages and linguistics and the service offerings of CALL can be found here.

Indigenous Creative Arts

The growth of Indigenous Creative Arts nationally is reflected in the increased importance of this area of research by Batchelor Institute and project funding by the Australian Research Council.

Current Indigenous creative arts projects under way at Batchelor Institute include curatorial practice, creative writing on identity and country, contemporary visual performance, and research on the ways international museums incorporate First Peoples’ stories and representation.

Further information on the Institute’s strength in Indigenous creative arts can be found here.

In addition to the three areas of research excellence, Batchelor Institute also has a strong track record in working closely with Indigenous organisations, industry, government and education institutions on community and livelihoods research projects.

Indigenous Livelihoods

In many cases, the Institute has been a contracted research partner for Indigenous livelihoods projects, bringing to each its expertise in areas such as community engagement, teaching and learning, delivery of services to remote communities and applying appropriate ethically-based research methodology and practice to meet community and project expectations.

Further information on the Institute’s Indigenous livelihoods projects can be found here.