The Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration (ISRC) acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which the University stands and respectfully recognise Elders past and present.
About the collaboration
The ISRC explores the challenges that lie at the heart of relations between Indigenous and settler Australians. In the wake of government rejection of the Uluru Statement from the Heart (270kb pdf), the ISRC looks to expand public and official understanding of these challenges, and explore what might inform, shape and give life to more just relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia have articulated the challenges at the heart of Indigenous-settler relations as concerning Voice, Treaty, and Truth. The research produced through this collaboration will be guided by these pillars and will engage with these challenges by exploring three central questions:
- How can Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples assume a more respected and influential public voice in Australia’s social and political life, especially with regard to the policies and programs that affect them? (Voice)
- How can structural reform in the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian state and its peoples be achieved? (Treaty)
- How might an enriched understanding of our shared and contested histories shape contemporary Indigenous-settler relations? (Truth)
If you are interested in ISRC's projects or partnerships, please contact the team at via the Contact web page.
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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 collaboration is a multidisciplinary team including members from:
- Cultural Studies
- Development Studies
- Media, including Journalism
- Political Science
While being informed by previous approaches, IRSC focuses sharply upon questions about what informs, shapes and gives social, legal and political life to just relations between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples. The collaboration utilises the expertise of each of its members to present a unique and nuanced perspective on matters concerning Indigenous Settler Relations.