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Research Projects and Partnerships


Batchelor Institute has a long history of engagement in research projects of relevance to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities. These projects have and continue to involve diverse partnership arrangements with communities, government and non-government agencies, universities and research centres. This page provides an insight into the collaborative work we do.

  • Centre for Indigenous Languages (CALL) projects

    Visit this website for further details on recent CALL Projects – CALL projects
  • Collaboration with Melbourne University – Towards culturally inclusive language assessments for Indigenous students (2017 – Current)

    Batchelor Institute researcher Robyn Ober is a chief investigator on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project led by Melbourne University. This project is working on developing empirically-based and theoretically informed descriptions of the pathway to spoken competence in Standard Australian English of multilingual/multidialectal Aboriginal students.
  • Bridging Cultures – Over Under: International Preparation for Tertiary Success Project: (2016-Current)

    This project is a collaboration between Batchelor Institute and the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The project facilitates relationship building between Indigenous students and colleagues from Australia and Canada who are engaged in university enabling courses.  The project, through online relationship building, aims to foster student resilience and support the cultural, personal and academic aspirations of students. The evaluative component of this project aims to explore how such a teaching/learning approach may enable Indigenous academic success by Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars working collaboratively.  The objective is to support Indigenous students in the building of bridges between Indigenous and Western ways of knowing and learning through a combined Two-Eyed Seeing for Both-Ways Knowing approach and practice.
  • Northern Territory Indigenous Higher Education Policy Review project (2018)

    Undertaken at the request of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training this project was a collaboration between Batchelor Institute and Charles Darwin University. The project aimed to explore how Indigenous perspectives of ‘success’ relate to definitions of success within policy and how these may have evolved over time.  The key findings of this research and the recommendations made in the final report point to ways in which Indigenous higher education policies could more accurately reflect the needs of Northern Territory Indigenous  people, groups and communities.

    The final report from this research project can be accessed here: is also found at

  • Knowledge Intersections Research Symposium: Exploring the Research of Central Australia (2017)

    On Thursday 18th May 2017 the Desert Peoples Centre campus of Batchelor Institute hosted the inaugural Knowledge Intersections Research Symposium. This event came about out of a desire to showcase and share the excellent research work being done across the central Australian region. It was also an opportunity to explore the ‘Knowledge Intersections’ to be found across and between this work. Researchers from across the central Australian region presented on diverse topics including Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, the boarding school experience, collaborative publishing projects, literature, resilience, decolonising education policies and practices, narratives, poetry and visual arts.  A publication of the papers from the symposium can be accessed here:
  • Indigenous Research Collaborations Project (2012-2015)

    In 2011 Batchelor Institute was awarded Collaborative Research Network (CRN) funding from the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education to implement the Indigenous Research Collaboration (IRC) project, which aimed to increase the research capacity of Batchelor Institute with the support of research partners: Monash University; Charles Darwin University and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. The project saw the development of collaborative relationships; an increase in Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers; and research quantum.

  • Pathways to Employment Project (2012-2016)

    As part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation the ‘Pathways to Employment’ project was a collaboration between Batchelor Institute and NintiOne. The research aimed to explore how different ways of being, knowing and valuing that existed between policy makers, program developers/implementers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ in remote communities impacted pathways to economic engagement .The research challenged assumptions underpinning current pathway to employment policy, programs and practices operating in very remote Australia. The project found that barriers to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander economic engagement and participation in very remote Australia included policy and program models based on notions of deficit and shaped by traditional human capital frameworks.

  • 40 Years Conference: Finding Common Ground with Indigenous and Western Knowledge Systems (2014-2015)

    2014 marked a milestone for Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education as it celebrated 40 years of delivering quality research, education and training in the Northern Territory and across Australia. On the 7-8 August the Conference, Finding Common Ground with Indigenous and Western Knowledge Systems, was held and attended by current and former students and staff, external academics and researchers  and industry, community and government partners. The Celebration included arts, history, food and cultural programs as well as the presentation of research-based papers.

    A collection of 30 peer reviewed papers stemming from the event can be found in the publication: Finding Common Ground: Narratives, Provocations and Reflections from the 40 Year Celebration of Batchelor Institute

  • Community Perspectives on the Family Support Package Evaluation Project 2012

    This project was commissioned by the Department of Children and Families and built on earlier evaluative work on the Family Support Package which had largely omitted Aboriginal community perspectives. The project explored the views and experiences of local Aboriginal community members and program staff and some non-Indigenous community-based service providers of ‘Family Support Package’ programs in five remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory (NT).

    The project identified strengths of existing Family Support Package elements and pointed to opportunities for enhancing their effectiveness in protecting Aboriginal children and families from abuse and violence.

  • Indigenous women and the role of transactional sex in Homelessness project (2010-2012)

    This research was funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Families and Housing, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), through the National Homelessness Research Agenda. The research found that for Indigenous women in this study, transactional sex was an historical and established mechanism for basic survival during periods without shelter in Darwin. The study concluded that transactional sex was a product of homelessness and expression of the continuum of colonisation with its social, cultural, political and economic challenges for Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. The full research report can be accessed here

  • Building the Future for Indigenous students: The relationship of future vision, learning, and motivational profiles to school success (2011 -2014)

    An Australian Research Council (ARC) funded Linkage research project, ‘Building the future for Indigenous students’, was a collaboration between Batchelor Institute, Charles Sturt University, Hong Kong Institute of Education and the Northern Territory Department of Education and Training. The project explored hopes and dreams for the future of remote and very remote students and particularly what motivated them at school, and how they studied. The findings provided critical hard data on the Indigenous students’ future visions and aspirations, motivation, and approaches to study .  Another significant contribution to come from this research was the publication of Indigenous Kids in Schooling: An Introductory overview and brief history of Aboriginal Education in the Northern Territory.

  • Baseline Socio-economic Analysis for the Nyiyaparli People of the Pilbara (2013)

    Batchelor Institute was invited by BHP Billiton and the Nyiyaparli People to develop and administer a baseline socio-economic analysis (SEA) survey for the Nyiyaparli People of the Pilbara region. This included: gathering baseline data; identifying barriers to economic participation; and identifying the outcomes that the Nyiyaparli People want to achieve through their Agreement with BHP Billiton. Link to repository:

  • Reversing the Gaze: an Indigenous perspective on museums, cultural representation and the equivocal digital remnant project (2010-2013)

    This project was funded by the Australian Research Council from their Development Fund for Indigenous Research and Researchers. The project aimed to explore the capacity of nationally significant museums in Australia, the United States of America and Great Britain, to incorporate their own Indigenous and First Peoples’ stories, engagement and representations into their museum programs. In particular the project examined best-practice examples identified by museum professionals. A paper (chapter 8) from this project can be found in the following publication
  • Elders Visiting Program Evaluation Project (2011)

    This project was commissioned by Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services and documented the critical factors that have underpinned the development of the Elders Visiting Program (EVP) in Northern Territory correctional centres. The project reviewed the performance and outcomes of the EVP, documented relationship practices and processes between inmates, the prison service, relevant government agencies, Elders and their respective communities and provided recommendations on how the program could be improved and/or expanded.
  • New Media Resources for Indigenous Researcher Training project (2008-2011)

    This project was a collaboration between the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (now Office for Learning and Teaching) and Batchelor Institute through their Fellowship program. The project involved reviewing and articulated current knowledge practice with the aim of encouraging multi-disciplinary Indigenous Knowledge(s) outcomes across the higher education sector. Using a framework of development and dissemination, this project sought to articulate strategies for Indigenous research students and their supervisory teams to achieve meaningful goals in their research training, by engaging the epistemologies and cultural knowledge they bring to the academy, while challenging a perception of remediation.
  • Building Capacity for Early Childhood Education project (2010)

    This project was a partnership between Batchelor Institute and Charles Sturt University and was funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The research cumulated in the development of a suite of resources for early childhood educators created through the national ‘Building Capacity for Early Childhood Education’ project, funded by the Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations. The main audience for the resource is non-Indigenous early childhood educators, teachers and mentors who work with Indigenous people in remote community contexts. These resources can be accessed here:
  • Linking Worlds: Strengthening the leadership capacity of Indigenous education leaders in remote education settings project (2006 -2009)

    This project was an Australian Research Council Linkage project and partnership between Australian Catholic University and Batchelor Institute, with collaborating organisations Catholic Education Office (Darwin), the Northern Territory Government Department of Education and Training and Principals Australia. This research project investigated Indigenous educational leadership in remote settings and aimed to frame the unique ‘worlds’ within which Indigenous educational leaders operate, and to determine the skills, knowledges and attributes required to be an effective leader. The final research report for this project can be accessed at:
  • Review of the Environmental Impact Procedures of the Northern Territory (2009)

    The project explored an Indigenous community engagement process that was undertaken by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Link to Repository: