Batchelor Institute » First World Leading Research to Embed Indigenous Knowledge into PhDs
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First World Leading Research to Embed Indigenous Knowledge into PhDs

Two high profile academics from Batchelor Institute, in a team with six other renowned Australian and international researchers, have won a grant to conduct world leading research to embed Indigenous knowledge into PhD studies in Australia for the first time.

Announced last week, the grant of $277,500 from the Australian Research Council will allow the team to investigate how to integrate Indigenous knowledge into doctoral education to address ecological and social issues in Australia, such as the unprecedented bushfires last summer.

Kungarakan Traditional Owner-Custodian and Elder Academic, Dr Sue Stanton, and Alyawarre woman, Associate Professor Kathryn Gilbey, both from Batchelor Institute, along with their team, will harness the knowledge of multiple Indigenous cultures to better prepare Australia for future challenges.

Dr Stanton said Australian research could be greatly enriched if the knowledge, histories, languages and cultural practices of Indigenous, migrant, refugee and international student communities were given greater recognition.

“Australia’s First Nations People have over 60,000 years of knowledge that has not yet been harnessed by Australian universities in doctoral education,” Dr Stanton said.

Dr Stanton added, “Our unique research project will start with Indigenous knowledge of local land and old cultures, to help Australia identify solutions to emerging issues, by privileging First Nation and transcultural old ways of doing things and applying that to contemporary Western doctoral education.”

The research team will analyse policy and protocols of local and international Indigenous knowledge in history, geography, language and cultural practices, to produce research-informed recommendations for universities to develop respectful guidelines for intergenerational and intercultural doctoral supervision and examination.

Associate Professor Gilbey said, “At Batchelor Institute, we are extremely privileged to have our Elder Academic, Dr Stanton, working, teaching and conducting research on her traditional land – the model we want to demonstrate and celebrate in this research – learning about cultural and academic knowledge on country.”

This research will enable Australia to become a world leader in global knowledge production by generating new knowledge from Indigenous, migrant and refugee populations, never analysed for this purpose before, to produce policy recommendations for doctoral supervision, language and examination protocols, and a multimedia portal and app with Indigenous and transcultural knowledges at the forefront of Australian research.

The members of the research team include:

  • Professor Catherine Manathunga, Chief Investigator, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Associate Professor Kathryn Gilbey, Chief Investigator, Batchelor Institute
  • Dr Sue Stanton, Chief Investigator, Batchelor Institute
  • Dr Jing Qi, Chief Investigator, RMIT University
  • Professor Maria Raciti, Chief Investigator, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Professor Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Partner Investigator, University of South Africa
  • Professor Michael Singh, Chief Investigator, Western Sydney University
  • Associate Professor Wenqin Shen, Partner Investigator, Peking University, China


Sue & Kathryn.2