Collaboratively rethinking the nature and practice of voluntary service in three North Australian Aboriginal communities

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


    One of the Fundamental Principles of Red Cross International is Voluntary Service; however, how this principle might be variously enacted and supported within differing cross-cultural contexts is far from given.

    The Indigenous Knowledges and Governance Group in the Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University have been working with Red Cross in the N.T. undertaking research into the material and social practices of voluntary service within three Aboriginal communities – one urban, and two on remote islands in the Arafura Sea.

    These communities have quite distinct cultural heritages, and our research work has involved developing and articulating different local research methods in each of these three contexts. These methods have taken seriously the institutionalised knowledge and governance practices of Aboriginal people, and included Aboriginal knowledge authorities as co-researchers.

    Beginning with a small group of elders in each site, we have worked to develop research under their authority, including by recording of statements from cultural authorities in their own language, transcribing and translating them and undertaking a close analysis of local contexts and practices. In this paper we present some of the key learnings we provided to Red Cross, and detail beginning negotiations around ways of institutionally engaging differing types of voluntary service in the communities where we have worked.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationGive Happy, Live Happy
    Subtitle of host publicationNational Volunteering Conference provides solutions for the future of volunteeringand society
    Place of PublicationCanberra, australia
    PublisherVolunteering Australia
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventNational Volunteering Conference - National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 6 Apr 20168 Apr 2016


    ConferenceNational Volunteering Conference


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