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This edition of Australian Aboriginal Studies presents a collection of research papers authored and co-authored by early career Indigenous academics under an initiative of The University of Sydney, the Indigenous Research Higher Degree Student Initiative. Drs Toni Schofield and John Gilroy and PhD candidate Rebecca O'Brien are the guest editors for this edition. The showcasing of this project is in keeping with our research priority to develop and support Indigenous research expertise.

In keeping with this focus, the 2014 AIATSIS National Indigenous Studies Conference, entitled '50 years on: breaking barriers in Indigenous research and thinking', will examine how far things have progressed in the area of Indigenous studies in Australia in the past 50 years.

AIATSIS is developing its own quantum of Indigenous researchers on staff in order to have a critical mass to engage in efficient and sustainable research effort. Most recently, in July this year, Dr Mick Adams commenced a Research Fellowship with AIATSIS, joining Ray Lovett and Stewart Sutherland to work in the area of Indigenous Health and Wellbeing. For many years Dr Adams has been heavily involved nationally and locally in Indigenous advocacy and community health organisations, including during and after the completion of his doctorate. Dr Adams' experience in developing and using appropriate methodologies for research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples covers a range of culturally safe processes and protocols necessary to ensure a research project's success. He has a national reputation, credibility and standing as an advocate for improved health of Aboriginal and Tortes Strait Islander peoples.

The National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), which was launched at AIATSIS in July this year, continues to grow in strength as the peak alliance for Australian Indigenous research and researchers. The 'Yuraki node--history, culture and politics' is led by AIATSIS Director of Research, Indigenous Social and Cultural Wellbeing, Dr Jakelin Troy and AIATSIS Deputy Council Chairperson Professor John Maynard. Professor Maynard is included in NIRAKN on behalf of his academic home base, The University of Newcastle. In October Dr Troy attended the NIRAKN Management Committee meeting and inaugural annual symposium, hosted at Central Queensland University, Rockhampton. The symposium considered future directions for Indigenous research locally and internationally. A keynote speaker was Professor Scott Manning Stevens of the Mohawk Nation, Director of the D'arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Newberry Library and University of Notre Dame. Professor Manning Stevens spoke about the value of careful examination of great archives (like those at AIATSIS) for the purposes of uncovering cultural information that can assist all Indigenous peoples to recover our heritages.

The editorial team wishes to acknowledge the support and goodwill received from the many people who provide assistance, much of it unpaid, to ensure that Australian Aboriginal Studies continues to provide topical and rigorous commentary in the Indigenous studies arena.

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Author:Troy, Jakelin; McNicol, Sally
Publication:Australian Aboriginal Studies
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 22, 2013
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