Engaging tensions

methodological reflections from Australia on CommunityBased Participatory Housing Research

  • Charmaine Green
    University of Western Australia
  • Sarah Prout
    University of Western Australia
  • Fiona Nichols
    Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health
  • Kevin Merritt
    Midwest Aboriginal Organisation Alliance
  • Gordon Gray
    Midwest Aboriginal Organisation Alliance
  • Jennifer Kniveton
    Midwest Aboriginal Organisation Alliance
  • Wayne McDonald
    Midwest Aboriginal Organisation Alliance
  • Ashley Taylor
    Midwest Aboriginal Organisation Alliance


Increasingly, applied researchers and Indigenous communities are genuinely seeking common ground to undertake research projects that are particularly attentive to issues of ownership and outcomes. Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) has been embraced globally as a best practice methodological framework for engaging in research in Indigenous communities, especially at the cultural interface where different knowledge systems meet. This article reviews the authors’ experiences of engaging with the challenging and enriching aspects of tensions encountered when using the CBPR approach during an Indigenous housing research project in regional Western Australia. Consistent with many CBPR processes, a number of tensions emerged in this cross- and intra-cultural research process. They related to multiple (and sometimes competing) expectations regarding what constitutes genuine partnership; the procurement and flows of research funding; data collection; and research translation mediums and activities. We conclude that engaging with the challenges of this methodological framework at the cultural interface opens up critical and dynamic spaces for shifting power relationships and asserting new models of ownership and outcomes in research with, and for, Australian Indigenous communities.

Published: 2013-06-01
Pages:17 to 28
Section: Articles
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How to Cite
Green, C., Prout, S., Nichols, F., Merritt, K., Gray, G., Kniveton, J., McDonald, W., & Taylor, A. (2013). Engaging tensions: methodological reflections from Australia on CommunityBased Participatory Housing Research. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 6(2), 17-28. https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcis.v6i2.100