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Breaking the silence: What it means to be Indigenous and queer

Wednesday, 30 October 2019


Participants are being sought for a WA-first study exploring the impact of discrimination on people who identify as both Indigenous and queer.

The research, led by Edith Cowan University (ECU) Pro-Vice Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous) Professor Braden Hill, is driven by the ‘silences’ connected  to being LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Intersex) and Indigenous – those within families, communities and particularly within policy and service delivery.

“Currently there is next to no research about what it’s like to be both Aboriginal and LGBTQI, yet many young people from both communities are suffering mental health concerns and the highest rates of suicide in Australia,” Professor Hill said.

“This project aims to open up conversations to inform the development of evidence-based, inclusive mental health, health, social, community and family support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who also identify as LGBTQI,” he said.

The search for participants

The first phase of the research project interviewed staff from health organisations, health services and community organisations.

Now Professor Hill is seeking participation from LGBTQI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals over 18 years of age.

“This is an opportunity for LGBTQI Aboriginal people to have their say and help inform services that should not only be accessible but very much in tune with their needs as a community,” Professor Hill said.

“We want to find out what factors – individual, familial and cultural, organisational or systemic - enable or prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQI people accessing appropriate health, well-being and community services.

“Ultimately we are really hoping that health and community services, whether they be Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal organisations, will find this research a useful evidence-based tool to support the work they are already doing to become as inclusive as possible.”

This Healthway funded study, Breaking the Silence: Being Indigenous and Identifying LGBTQI, is based at ECU’s Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research.

To be part of the confidential research survey visit the website.


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