Indigenous families

Our research expertise

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, family and kin relationships are a central part of social and cultural life. Australian Indigenous families are extremely diverse in terms of their structure or dynamics but whatever form they take, strong families are pivotal to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities. Understanding both the challenges to Indigenous families, and their strengths, is thus key to successful policymaking and program and service delivery.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies research on Indigenous families has included:

  • identifying the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices in family life
  • building safe and supportive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • supporting vulnerable and at-risk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

Current projects

Knowledge Circle
A resource to support workers in their efforts to help keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children safe and happy in their communities.

Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program evaluation
A comprehensive evaluation of the Victorian Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program.

Selected publications

View the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse website for all relevant publications developed for the clearinghouse. 

The family circumstances and wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children
This research chapter in the LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2012 provides some insights into a comparison of the lives of Indigenous children and non-Indigenous children.

Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing
Explores some of the characteristics of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practices that contribute to family functioning.

Safe and supportive Indigenous families and communities for children: A synopsis and critique of Australian research
A review of research on building safe and supportive families and communities for Indigenous children in Australia.

Did you know ...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households had an average of 3.3 people per household in 2011, compared with 2.6 people for other households.

(Source: ABS)

Researchers

Stewart Muir
Research Fellow

Kelly Hand
Senior Research Fellow

Sam Morley
Research Officer

Shaun Lohoar
Senior Research Officer

More information

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