An Aboriginal Health Worker's Research Story

Left Coast Press Inc.
Publication Type:
Indigenous Pathways into Social Research, 2013, 1, pp. 203 - 217
Issue Date:
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My name is Juanita Sherwood. I am an Aboriginal woman, a descendant of the Wiradjuri Nation, a daughter, a mother, a sister, and an aunt and have worked and lived in Aboriginal health and education for over twenty-five years. My experiences, responsibilities, and varied environments have shaped my world view and my ways of knowing, being, and doing. I would like to establish the context for my research story within the contested space of Indigenous health research in Australia. For some 150 years, research in Australia has been focused on knowing Aboriginal Australians, rather than restituting our people's circumstances, which were shaped through colonial policy and doctrine. The results of health research also failed to deliver improvements in Aboriginal health status, which had shifted from good at the start of colonial contact to appalling in the twenty-first century, as acknowledged by International aid agency Oxfam in 2007- a national scandal for a First World country.
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