Decolonising methodologies in researching civic action with Aboriginal Australian young children

with Dr Louise  Phillips

Date Thursday, 7 April 2016
Time 12:15pm – 1.15pm
Location Room 201, Level 2, Cycad Building (1018) University of Queensland Long Pocket Precinct, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly
(From UQ St Lucia take the 12 noon shuttle bus at Chancellors Place)

Researching young children can and often is a colonising practice, through unequal power
structures with adults determining what, how and who are researched, often subjectifying and
oversimplifying children for adult knowledge gain. Scientific research has a legacy of tyranny for
colonised peoples across the globe. Aboriginal children have been part of the Aboriginal Australian
experience of being over-researched, without permission, consultation or involvement of Aboriginal
people generating, mistrust, animosity and resistance in communities. With grave concern and
sensitivity to these human rights cautions, the methodology for a study on marginalised young
children’s civic action and learning foregrounded relationship building, over research agendas.

In this presentation, Louise will talk through her emergent responsive consultative methodology with
Aboriginal Elders, educators, children and families of an Aboriginal community governed child care
centre. Three vignettes from the multi-vocal ethnographic study will be storied to expose how
continuing colonising practices shape what citizenship might be for young Aboriginal children.
Recognition of the ongoing codes of colonialism and regulation of Indigenous peoples lives provides
critical understanding of the entrenched obstructions for young Aboriginal Australian children and the
affordances they seize to be active citizens.


Louise Phillips Ph.D is a lecturer in the School of Education, and currently on a HASS Faculty Fellowship with the Institute for Social Science Research.
Louise has more than twenty-five years of experience in early childhood education with the last eight years focussed on
res earching children’s rights and citizens hip. Louis e is co -principal investigator of Civic Action and Learning with Young
Children: Comparing Approaches in New Zealand, Australia and the United States
(funded by the US Spencer
Foundation), leading the Australian investigation of pre-s choolers’ civic capabilities.

Decolonising methodologies in researching civic action with Aboriginal Australian young children

Thu 7 Apr 2016 12:15pm


Room 201, Level 2, Cycad Building (1018), Long Pocket Precinct