Researching Indigenous Fatherhood in Australia Seminar
October 2008, The University of Newcastle
Presented by the Fathers and Families Research Program of the Family Action Centre, Faculty of Health, The University of Newcastle as part of the ENGAGING INDIGENOUS FATHERS AND FATHER FIGURES IN FAMILY RELATIONSHIP CENTRES project. This project is funded by Interrelate Family Centres.
Researching Indigenous Fatherhood (226 KB pdf)
Dr Richard Fletcher, Senior Lecturer, Leader of the Fathers and Families Research Program at the Family Action Centre
Richard has worked with, and learnt from, Craig Hammond for eight years while undertaking projects together involving Indigenous fathers.
Developing images and identifying values surrounding fatherhood in seven Indigenous communities (3.13 MB pdf)
Craig Hammond, Indigenous Researcher, Fathers And Families Research Program, University of Newcastle
In 2004, Craig worked with young Aboriginal fathers in the Hunter Valley to create the first set of Indigenous posters to portray the positive values associated with fatherhood and men's fathering role in Australia. He then visited communities in Queensland, the Northern Territory, New Sout Wales, Victoria and Tasmania to create locally designed fatherhood posters as part of a SNAICC national project. This year he commences new projects to develop Indigenous fatherhood posters with Northern Territory communities and with the Dubbo community.
Holding men (2.34 MB pdf)
Dr Brian F. McCoy, NHMRC Fellow Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne
Brian will discuss the concept of kanyirninpa (holding) as a deeply embedded value for desert Aboriginal people; authority with nurturance and relatedness with autonomy, and where older people 'grow up', protect and look after younger people.
Brian has lived and worked in a number of Indigenous communities over a number of decades. Between 2001 and 2004, he conducted qualitative health research among desert communities in the southeast Kimberley region of Western Australia to explore cultural understandings of the particular male expressions and praxis of kanyirninpa.
The research occurred at a time when the first suicides of young men, who had grown up within this desert region, were taking place. The research showed that the fracture of kanyirninpa over recent generations has seriously affected key social processes and generational relationships within desert society. This wounding has implications for men's health and can provide an understanding as to why young men attempt self-harm and suicide. However, the social expression of kanyirninpa can also sustain important meanings for young men as they grow up. It can protect them from high-risk behaviour and self-harm while supporting them on healthy pathways to adulthood.