Impact—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research
The high rated impact sections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research studies described a variety of economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts which benefitted many different sectors and groups.
As the focus of these impact studies, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities were identified as key beneficiaries and included peoples and communities from across Australia in remote, regional and metropolitan locations. In addition, impact studies often included the general public as beneficiaries as well as professionals and other industry stakeholders such as:
- health care workers
- teachers and students
- artists and performers
- journalists and publishers
- police officers and court officials
- business owners
- policy makers.
Across the 12 highly rated impact studies, universities described Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research that had a wide range of impacts including:
- improved physical and mental health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities
- preservation and sharing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and culture
- improved educational outcomes for students from primary school to tertiary levels
- preservation of threatened and near threatened species of animals and plants
- system wide legal changes
- increased knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
- economic savings in health and education due to preventative or improved practices.
These impact studies also highlighted a range of additional benefits that complemented the primary impact objectives described in the studies including:
- employment and upskilling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- capability development of industry professionals and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in health, education, environment
- a wealth of resources created and shared with relevant sectors and the wider public for future knowledge and use.
Many of the studies also described how impacts were achieved through a mutual exchange of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional knowledges and western methods. For example, one study noted that traditional knowledges supplemented western knowledge to create new understandings of plant and animal identification, while other studies noted preserving endangered first languages. In turn, many studies stated that western knowledge increased the community’s autonomy to manage land, health, education, legal understanding, media communication and skills in business and research.