The Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration (ISRC) acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the unceded land on which the University stands and respectfully recognise Elders past and present.
About the collaboration
The ISRC is a multi-disciplinary research unit devoted to exploring the challenges that lie at the heart of relations between Indigenous and settler Australians.
In the wake of government rejection of the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart (270kb pdf), the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration (ISRC) looks to expand public and official understanding of these challenges. We work in partnership with a range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations in Australia, using our networks and expertise to explore what might inform, shape and give life to more just relations between Indigenous and settler peoples.
Our focus on relationality is a deliberate move away from a critical interrogation of settler colonialism’s impact upon Indigenous peoples, or scholarship which speaks back to the settler state. Rather, our intention is to contrast and augment these approaches through an exploration of the social, legal and political conditions though which relations between Indigenous and settler peoples manifest.
The collaboration is comprised of a core research team and a network of established scholars from a wide range of disciplines. Together, the ISRC undertake projects, produce publications, as well as host and facilitate public and institutional events and workshops, all of which engage with the challenges of Indigenous-settler relations.
We are currently guided by three research priorities:
- Indigenous Generations
- Indigenous Public Policy
If you are interested in finding out more, making use of our research services, or proposing a partnership project with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Guided by a place-based ethic, the ISRC is committed to developing the University’s relationship with Wurundjeri. To find out more about the Wurundjeri peoples, please visit the Wurundjeri Tribe Council website.
Image credit: Nick D. The Australian Aboriginal Flag, Torres Strait Islander Flag and the Australian flag being flown outside Parliament House to mark NAIDOC week. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
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How can Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples assume a more respected and influential public voice in Australia’s social and political life?
The collaboration examines the ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are able to speak and be heard in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as individuals and communities, must navigate Australia’s turbulent history of repeatedly creating and disbanding representative bodies to influence policy and government, as well as frequent negative representations of Indigenous life in the media and popular culture. We explore efforts to amplify the public voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and seek to better understand the transformative potential of this voice upon Australia’s social and political life.
How can structural reform in the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian state and its peoples be achieved?
The collaboration examines possibilities for structural transformation. The Uluru Statement makes it clear that urgent structural reform is needed to reshape current relations between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the Australian state, its peoples and institutions. Our research on this issue explores the challenges and possibilities of treaties and other forms of agreement-making in Australia, and seeks to theorise new possibilities for structural transformation.
How might an enriched understanding of our shared and contested histories shape contemporary Indigenous-settler relations?
Many truths about Australia’s history remain hidden. There is a belief and faith - articulated in the Uluru Statement and elsewhere - that uncovering the truths of this history will have a transformative effect on Indigenous-settler relations. Decades of effort have gone into educating non-Indigenous people about Australia’s colonial past, but there is little evidence that this work has produced the broad-based political will for change that might once have been imagined. The collaboration adopts multiple disciplinary perspectives to understand the ways in which truth-telling and history might successfully inform the transformation of Indigenous-settler relations, and to better understand the reasons why it has failed to do so to date.
The Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration (IRSC) brings together scholars who are interested in examining contemporary Indigenous affairs through questions of relationality. The ISRC utilises the expertise of each of its members to present a unique and nuanced perspective on matters concerning Indigenous Settler Relations.
Our primary work focuses on the following four areas:
- Outreach and knowledge translation
- Promoting institutional transformation
The collaboration includes members from the following disciplines:
- Cultural Studies
- Development Studies
- Media, including Journalism
- Political Science