Interview on My Sociological Practice

I’ve been interviewed for the Lady Science podcast. I talk about what sociology is, my career as an applied sociologist, and how Indigenous and other minority sociologists continue to challenge Western and colonial methods and ideas in sociology and in social policy.

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Aboriginal women speakers sit up front of an audience at Twitter Australia headquarters

NAIDOC Week 2018

This past week Australia celebrated NAIDOC Week, a time to reflect on the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This year’s theme was Because of Her We Can, putting the spotlight on Indigenous women’s central role in overlapping areas, from family, to community organisations, to social justice.

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External link to Water Mismanagement Impacting Aboriginal Communities

Water Mismanagement Impacting Aboriginal Communities

Racist policies are making remote Aboriginal communities sick. At least three communities in Central Australia have levels of uranium in drinking water that exceed health guidelines, with dozens more not meeting good quality. “It’s an international scandal that this is … Continue reading Water Mismanagement Impacting Aboriginal Communities

Senator Malarndirri McCarthy

In her historic maiden speech, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Yanyuwa woman and Member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, addresses Indigenous resilience, support for migrants and refugees, and solidarity with LGBTQIA Australians. “I urge parliamentarians in both houses to understand this: the Yanyuwa are a people whose struggle for recognition took nearly 40 years. So many elders died well before such recognition and, most importantly, before any respect took place. Such long, drawn out legal battles have wearied many families of first nation peoples, constantly trying to defend their sense of self and identity and country. Maybe that was the intention … Continue reading Senator Malarndirri McCarthy

Decolonising Sociology

Much like the challenges facing educators looking to transform education in a way that is more meaningful to Indigenous students, Australian sociology has many issues of colonialism to address. Indigenous sociologist Associate Professor Kathleen Butler belongs to the Bundjalung and Worimi peoples of coastal New South Wales. She finds that our discipline presents several problems in the way we teach, research and discuss Indigenous experiences.  First, many of our key texts are written from a particular White Western perspective. For example, we continue to teach Durkheim who used Indigenous Australians as a case study of a “primitive” culture. Even when using the work of Marx … Continue reading Decolonising Sociology

Transgender Indigenous Australians

The term “Brother Boy” describes an Indigenous transgender man and “Sister Girl” describes transgender women. In this short interview with The Wire (below), brother boy Kai Clancey talks about his social identity being a “double edged sword.” He experiences racism within the transgender community as well as confusion and exclusion from some members of his Indigenous community. Clancey talks about his experience in terms of postcolonialism. Transphobia and homophobia are part of European settler culture, which also launched a campaign of genocide against the First Australians. Clancey says he is in the process of resisting colonial mindset, revising his cultural … Continue reading Transgender Indigenous Australians

Displacement of Indigenous Australians

The Australian Government is getting ready to displace Indigenous Australians living in over 150 remote communities in Western Australia, in a bid to save money. Rather than fixing existing social services, Indigenous Australians will be forced to move from their homes. This poorly conceived policy is nothing short of colonial violence, by dispossessing our traditional land owners from their homes. The Government’s unwillingness to deliver basic services, such as health, shows their commitment to treating Indigenous Australians like second-class citizens. As I reported elsewhere, last year the Government did nothing for months as a remote Indigenous community lived without clean … Continue reading Displacement of Indigenous Australians