The Indigenous Data Network: Restoring Community Control over an Intangible Asset

The Lab
Level 2 of the Digital Studio
West Wing of Arts West
(access via the rear lift)


Part of the Indigenous Australia and Digital Futures seminars series

Dr James Rose
University of Melbourne

Australia's national trade in Indigenous data lacks a centralised governance structure. Stockpiles of information about Indigenous peoples, harvested over 231 years of colonial administration, remain distributed across a nationwide archipelago of disconnected archives, libraries, and government warehouses. The value of this information to Indigenous communities and individuals is amplified by the vast quantities of data that it contains, regarding health, education, employment, justice, and cultural heritage. Based at the Indigenous Studies Unit, University of Melbourne, the Indigenous Data Network (IDN) has been established to link together and audit these orphaned datasets, and to establish a national federation of Indigenous-controlled organisations to govern access, storage, and distribution. This seminar outlines the founding principles informing the IDN's objectives and strategies.

Dr James Rose is a Senior Research Fellow with the Indigenous Studies Unit, the University of Melbourne. Led by Professor Marcia Langton and overseen by a steering committee of senior Indigenous academics and health researchers, Dr Rose is employed by the Indigenous Data Network as a non-Indigenous technical coordinator.