The Indigenous Studies Unit undertakes research aiming to improve outcomes in Indigenous health, particularly in relation to alcohol misuse and family violence, Indigenous data sovereignty, digital archives, cultural heritage, technology and resource management. We make regular contributions to Parliamentary reviews and Inquiries, cross-platform media, and policy development.
We collaborate with international researchers in nations including France, Japan, Canada, the US, Cambodia, East Timor and India. We have partnerships across MDHS and external faculties including the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Science (including specific Centres such as the Poche Centre and Murrup Barak).
Our Unit consists of researchers from anthropology, medical anthropology, law and related disciplines. The group’s expertise in designing and implementing strategies for policy reform in Indigenous Australia is highly regarded.
Key research projects
Indigenous communities have been central to the development of AMPs, however there has been very little research associated with documenting the effectiveness of the AMP approach, or into the appropriate implementation and evaluation frameworks necessary for such an approach to be evidence-based.
This research investigates the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who have experienced family violence, identifies practical and legal supports for men in these communities who perpetrate family violence, and the landscape of policy and legislation in this area.
A gateway to information about agreements between Indigenous people and others in Australia and overseas. Follow updates on Twitter.
This project aims to empower all teachers to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in their teaching.
See our full list of research and related projects.
New research led by the Indigenous Studies Unit and published by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety Limited (ANROWS) reveals the systemic barriers that disempower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women from reporting family violence.News
Congratulations to Professor Marcia Langton AO (CHE) – Asteroid 7809 Marcialangton was named after her! This year’s Mabo Day, June 3, was a special day for Indigenous astronomy. That was when the International Astronomical Union officially accepted five new asteroid names that honour a selection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, elders and academics whose work has been particularly influential. Marcia is one of these 5 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who have been honoured.News
As part of National Reconciliation Week 2020, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health ran a webinar which included a screening of the film 'No Longer a Wandering Spirit: The Story of Bessy Flowers.'News
As part of the 2020 Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Professor Marcia Langton AM will present 'Dangerous Fictions: Can We Stomach the Truth About Racism?'News
How can those of us at the University of Melbourne take up these challenges and ensure that rethinking our history, privilege, blindness, and ongoing violence moves beyond mere tokenism?News
‘It seems that every generation needs to be told why Black Lives Matter. Here we are again.’News
This webinar brings together three leading researchers and advocates—Jess Hill, Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon and Dr Kristen Smith—to explore what needs to be done to address domestic abuse now.News
The Indigenous Cultural Heritage Conference 2020 provides the first opportunity for Traditional Owners and their allies to meet, discuss, and develop programs, strategies and ideas to take control of their Cultural Heritage in Australia.News
In June 2020, Professor Marcia Langton was made an Officer for the Order of Australia (AO) for her impact on tertiary education and as an advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.News
This animation was about part of a project that aimed to identify First Peoples protocols for the ethical collection, storage and preservation of microbe sampling and epigenetic analysis.News
Join three Indigenous scholars across Arts, Education and MDHS for a National Reconciliation Week panel discussion on the experience of working across a western academy.News
In February 2020, Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker presented 'Voice, treaty, truth and the archive' at the VALA2020 conference held in Melbourne.News
In January 2020, Professor Marcia Langton was appointed Co-Chair of the National Indigenous Voice Co-Design Group.News
Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker published an article in Pursuit on the theme for Reconciliation Week 2019: ‘grounded in truth, walk together with courage’.News
This film follows the journey of two Aboriginal family groups discovering the history of their ancestor Bessy Flowers, who in 1867 was sent away from her Albany home, never to return.News
Key research projects
We conduct research that has contributed to improving outcomes in Australian Indigenous health, economic participation, cultural heritage, technology and resource management. Our research has led to significant impacts on government policy and legislative shifts.
Indigenous Data Network
Alcohol management in Indigenous communities
Indigenous family violence
Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Curricula Project: Phase 1 and 2
Local Aboriginal Community Archives: The use of information technology and the National Broadband Network in disaster preparedness and recovery (2013-2016)
Aboriginal Remote Narrowcast Tv And The Audiovisual Archive (2018-2021)
Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial (RRM)
Return, Reconcile, Renew: Understanding The History, Effects & Opportunities Of Repatriation And Building An Evidence Base For The Future (2014-2017)
Reclaiming Performance Under Assimilation In Southeast Australia, 1935-75 (2018-2021)
- Langton, M., Smith, K., Eastman, T., O’Neill, L., Cheesman, E., Rose, M. 2020 (forthcoming). Improving family violence legal and support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Sydney: Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety.pp.1-144.
- Eastman, T., Smith, K., Langton, M., O’Neill, L., Cheesman, E., Rose, M, 2020 (forthcoming), Family violence policies, legislation and services: Improving access and suitability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Sydney: Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety.
- Featherstone, D, Stuchbery, C, Huebner, S, Ormond-Parker, L, Dodd, A 2020 (forthcoming), ‘First Nations Media Australia: supporting on-country archiving of community collections’, Australian Aboriginal Studies Special Edition.
- Huebner, S, Hermes, A, Easteal, S 2020 (forthcoming), ‘The practice of engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in genome research’, in L MacDonald, J Tuari, L George (eds), Indigenous Research Ethics: Claiming Research Sovereignty beyond deficit and the colonial legacy, Emerald Publishing, United Kingdom.
- Ormond-Parker, L., Murray, L., 2020, Report to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secret or sacred and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage material in the Cultural Collections of the University of Melbourne, The University of Melbourne.
- Ormond-Parker, L., Carter, N., Fforde, C., Knapman, G., & Morris, W. (2020). Repatriation in the Kimberley: Practice, approach, and contextual history. In C. Fforde, C. T. McKeown, & H. Keeler (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Indigenous Repatriation Return, Reconcile, Renew (First ed., pp. 165-187). London: Routledge - Taylor & Francis.
- Prictor, M, Huebner, S, Teare, H, Burchill, L, Kaye, J 2020, ‘Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections of genetic heritage: considering the law, ethics and potential application of a Dynamic Consent approach for decision making’, The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, vol. 48, pp. 205-217.
- Corn, A., Ormond-Parker, L., & De Largy Healy, J. (Eds.) (2019). Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture. Special Issue: A Reflection of the Day: Essays in Honour of Joseph Neparrŋa Gumbula. (Vol. 47, Iss. 1-2). Germany: De Gruyter.
- Eastman, T., Langton, M., Smith, K, 2019, Building practical legal reforms to improve access for Indigenous women experiencing family violence by addressing the link between child protection, health services and reluctance to report. IAHA National Conference, Darwin, 23-25th September 2019
- Ormond-Parker, L., & Corn, A. (2019). Information technologies and Indigenous communities INTRODUCTION (Vol. 47). ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR& FRANCIS LTD.
- Ormond-Parker, L. (2019). Deadline 2025: AIATSIS and the audiovisual archive. Archives and Manuscripts, 47(1), 3-19.
- Smith K, Langton M, Chenhall R, Smith P, and Bawden S (2019). The Alcohol Management Plan at Pormpuraaw, Queensland, Australia: An ethnographic community-based study. Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Canberra.
- Corn, A., Ormond-Parker, L., & De Largy Healy, J. (2018). From the Guest Editors, Aaron Corn with Lyndon Ormond-Parker and Jessica de Largy Healy. Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture, 47(3-4), 68-69.
- Langton, M. (2018). Joe Gumbula, the Inaugural Liya-ŋärra’mirri Visiting Fellow. Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture, 47(3-4), 91-101. (IF = 0.23, JR = 0.16, citations = 1)
- Langton, M., Smith, K., Bawden, S. 2018, Shifting the problem? Local versus regional approaches to alcohol management by Indigenous communities, The 5th National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, 7 November - 9 November.
- Murray, L Ormond-Parker, O Shears, S 2018, Report to the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council: Audit of Aboriginal Ancestral Remains and Associated Aboriginal Objects, The University of Melbourne.
- Murray, L Ormond-Parker, O Shears, S 2018, Report on Aboriginal Ancestral Remains in the custody of The University of Melbourne, The University of Melbourne.
- Ormond-Parker, L., & Bernholz, L. (2018). The Ethics of Designing Digital Infrastructure. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Summer2018, 16(3), 34-39.
- Langton, M. & Smith, K. 2017, Dealing with the harmful impacts of alcohol: more effective policies urgently required, 14th National Rural Health Conference, Cairns Convention Centre, 26 – 29 April, 2017.
- Langton, M., Smith, K. 2017, A regional approach to Alcohol Management in Northern Australia: Mobility, supply chains and community control, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) National Indigenous Research Conference 2017: Impact, Engagement & Transformation, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 21 – 23 March 2017.
- Huebner, S & Flowers, E 2016, ‘‘It’s a resting place, where our spirits go’: bringing back lost ancestor memories to Western Australia’s Great Southern – Noongar boodja’, Journal of Arts & Communities, 8:1+2, pp. 75-92.
- Langton, M., Smith, K., Chenhall, R., 2016. Indigenous Narratives about alcohol impacts and sobriety, The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Melbourne Conference Centre, Australia, 8-10 November.
- Ormond-Parker, L., Langton, M., Huebner, S., Coleman, J., Pearson, C., Sloggett, R., . . . Clarke, K. (2016). When Magnets Collide: Digital Preservation and Access of At-Risk Audiovisual Archives in a Remote Aboriginal Community (1). Parkville, Australia: Melbourne Networked Society Institute, The University of Melbourne.
- Ormond-Parker, L. (2016). Aboriginal Communities, Information Technology and the Economics of Knowledge. (PhD Thesis).
- Ormond-Parker, L 2016. Ancestral Remains held by KALACC September 2016. Audit of the KALACC Keeping Place, Fizroy Crossing, WA. Report to Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre, Fitzroy Crossing WA. pp. 1-84.
- Fforde, C., ORMOND-PARKER, L., & Turnbull, P. (2015). Repatriation Research: Archives and the Recovery of History and Heritage. In R. Redmond-Cooper (Ed.), Heritage, Ancestry and Law: Principles, Policies and Practices in Dealing with Historical Human Remains (1 ed.). Crickadarn, Builth Wells, UK: Institute of Art and Law.
- Fforde, C. Ormond-Parker, L & Torpey-Hurst, J. 2015. Ancestral Remains repatriated from the South Australian Museum Unpublished research report for Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre, Fitzroy Crossing, WA. pp. 1-157.
- Smith, K., Langton, M. & Chenhall, R. 2015, Alcohol policy and assemblages of intervention: Managing alcohol in Indigenous communities, Addiction 2015: Alcohol, Other Drugs, Behavioural Addictions: Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, Surfers Paradise, Australia, 20 – 22 May 2015, pp. 101-114.
- O'Connell, J., ORMOND-PARKER, L. C., Spunner, S., & Sloggett, R. (2014). Waringarri Aboriginal Arts: Rethinking practices in conservation documentation through assessing the needs of a community arts centre. AICCM Bulletin, 34, 75-84.
- Smith K, Langton, M, d'Abbs P, Room R, Chenhall R & Brown A (2014) Alcohol Management Plans, in Elizabeth Manton, Robin Room, Caterina Giorgi and Michael Thorn (eds) Stemming the tide of alcohol: Liquor licensing and the public interest. Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in collaboration with The University of Melbourne, Canberra, pp.167-76.1 (Citations = 5)
- Smith, K, Langton, M, Chenhall, R, 2014, Alcohol Management Plans in the Northern Territory: At the intersection of policy, social and spatial dynamics, Kettil Bruun Society Thematic Conference on Alcohol Policy Research, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, Melbourne, Australia, 8-11 September 2014.
- Chenhall, R., Smith, K. & Langton, M. 2013, Alcohol Management Plans: Do wider reform strategies lead to success? Challenges for Health and Society: Informing Positive Change, Centre for Health and Society Symposium, University of Melbourne, Australia, 17 – 18 April 2013.
- Huebner, S 2013, ‘A digital community project for the recuperation, activation and emergence of Victorian Koorie knowledge, culture and identity’, in L Ormond-Parker, A Corn, C Fforde, K Obatz & S O’Sullivan (eds), Information Technology and Indigenous Communities, AIATSIS, Canberra, pp. 171-184.
- Leonard, S. N., Mackenzie., Kofod., Parsons., Langton, M. L., Russ., . . . Smith. (2013). Indigenous climate change adaptation in the Kimberley region of North-western Australia: Final Report. AU (Parkville): University of Melbourne.
- O’Connell, J., Ormond-Parker, L., Spunner, S., & Sloggett, R. (2013). Waringarri Aboriginal Arts: Rethinking practices in conservation documentation through assessing the needs of a community arts centre. AICCM Bulletin, 34(1), 75-84.
- Ormond-Parker, L. C., O'Connell, J. M., & Hirst, J. (2013). Warmun Community Art Collection Conservation Report: Final Report. AU (Melbourne): University of Melbourne.
- Ormond-Parker, L. C., & Spunner, S. (2013). L'invention aborigene de la technologie et la museologie cooperative. In V. Gaulter, C. Cohen, M. Surya, C. Gaunt, L. Garond, J. deVoge, & A. Morvan (Eds.), Memoires Vives une histoire de l'art Aborigene (2013 ed., pp. 194-202). FR: Editions de la Martiniere.
- Ormond-Parker, L., Corn, A., Obata, K., & O'Sullivan, S. 2013, Information technology and indigenous communities (1922102164), AISTSIS, Canberra;
- Smith, K., Langton, M., d'Abbs, P., Room, R., Chenhall, R., & Brown, A. 2013, Alcohol management plans and related reforms, Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Sydney, NSW;
- Sloggett, R., & Ormond-Parker, L. (2013). Crashes along the super highway: the information continuum. In L. Ormond-Parker, C. Fforde, K. Obata, A. Corn, & S. O'Sullivan (Eds.), Information Technologies and Indigenous Communities (2013 ed., pp. 227-246). Canberra: AIATSIS Research Publications.
- Ormond-Parker, L., & Sloggett, R. (2012). Local archives and community collecting in the digital age. Archival Science, 12(2), 191-212.