Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 179–185 | Cite as

Ethics in Indigenous Research – Connecting with Community

  • Terry Dunbar
  • Margaret Scrimgeour


The challenge for those responsible for funding, brokering and assessing the merit of proposed Indigenous research is to identify and then work co-operatively with appropriate representatives of Indigenous interests in order to increase the flow of benefits from research to Indigenous peoples. Experience in Australia has shown that this is not a straightforward process. In this paper we indicate some reasons why it is important for the research community to broker research with representative Indigenous organisations and to involve Indigenous peoples in the ethical assessment and conduct of research. We then identify some barriers to the achievement of these objectives and outline recently developed interventions from the field of health research that aim to promote a more effective working relationship between Indigenous peoples and members of the research community.


Ethics Research Indigenous populations Australia 



This paper derives from a presentation to the NHMRC, AHEC National Conference, May 2005, Canberra. We acknowledge the valuable advice received from the anonymous reviewer of an earlier draft of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Health and ScienceCharles Darwin UniversityCasuarinaAustralia
  2. 2.NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC)CanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Charles Darwin UniversityCasuarinaAustralia

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