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Draft report

The purpose of the AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code of Ethics or this Code) is to promote ethical and responsible practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research in Australia, to increase the contribution of Indigenous knowledge to Australian research, to ensure research has a positive impact for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to improve the quality and standards of research in this area.

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Act 1989 (Cth) requires AIATSIS to provide leadership in ethics and protocols for research as well as activities relating to collections about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. AIATSIS is the sole Commonwealth body with this responsibility and this Code is issued pursuant to that legislated function.

This consultation draft is structured in two parts and is supported by online case studies, guides, tools and templates that will be available on the AIATSIS ethics website. Part A of the consultation draft constitutes the AIATSIS Code and outlines the four principles that underpin ethical Australian Indigenous research which are:

  • Indigenous self-determination;
  • Indigenous leadership;
  • Impact and value and;
  • Sustainability and accountability

Each principle includes a set of responsibilities when conducting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.

Part B of the consultation draft is a practice guide to implementing the Code and provides advice for applying the principles discussed in Part A and is structured by research practice stages.

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