Research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
There are two recognised Indigenous Peoples in Australia: Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (hereafter Aboriginal Peoples). Six Core Values underpin the ethical conduct of research that involves (i.e., non-incidental involvement) Aboriginal Peoples:
In addition to the Six Core Values, researchers should be aware of the great diversity that exists across the many Aboriginal cultures and societies. They should consider the cultural and local-language protocols of the particular communities or groups involved in their research.
In accordance with Chapter 4.7 of The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, and as updated) where health research involves Aboriginal Peoples, researchers must consult Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders. The research must also be approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) that specialises in reviewing research with Aboriginal Peoples.
In NSW, this is the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC) HREC. AHMRC assists researchers in designing meaningful, ethical, and culturally appropriate projects that minimise harm and mitigate risks for Aboriginal Communities. AHMRC approval is required when any of the following is true:
If research will be conducted within a NSW Public Health Organisation, AHMRC HREC approval is required in addition to (not in place of) approval from a NSW Health HREC.
Other useful guidance and practical steps can be found in: