‘Ngulluck Katitj Wah Koorl Koorliny/ Us mob going along learning to research together’: Drawing on action research to develop a literature review on Indigenous gendered health and wellbeing


  • Bronwyn Fredericks Central Queensland University, Australia
  • Kathleen Clapham University of Wollongong
  • Roxanne Bainbridge James Cook University
  • Len Collard The University of Western Australia
  • Mick Adams Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
  • Dawn Bessarab The University of Western Australia.
  • Clair Andersen The University of Tasmania.
  • Deb Duthie Queensland University of Technology.
  • Rowena Ball The Australian National University.
  • Marlene Thompson (Longbottom) The University of Newcastle.
  • Carolyn Daniels Central Queensland University.


Collaborative Relationships, Indigenous, Health and Wellbeing, Literature Review, Pictorial Conceptual Model, NIRAKN


This paper describes the collaborative work practices of the Health and Wellbeing Node within the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN). The authors reflect on the processes they used to research and develop a literature review. As a newly established research team, the Health and Wellbeing Node members developed a collaborative approach that was informed by action research practices and underpinned by Indigenous ways of working. The authors identify strong links between action research and Indigenous processes. They suggest that, through ongoing cycles of research and review, the NIRAKN Health and Wellbeing Node developed a culturally safe, respectful and truly collaborative way of working together and forming the identity of their work group. In this paper, they describe their developing work processes and explain the way that pictorial conceptual models contributed to their emerging ideas.

Author Biographies

Bronwyn Fredericks, Central Queensland University, Australia

Bronwyn Fredericks is a Murri woman from South-East Queensland (Ipswich/ Brisbane). She is a Professor and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement), BMA Chair in Indigenous Engagement and President of Academic Board at Central Queensland University (CQUniversity). Bronwyn is a Node Leader and member of NIRAKN.

Kathleen Clapham, University of Wollongong

Kathleen Clapham is a Murrawarri woman and Professor (Indigenous Health), Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI), University of Wollongong, Wollongong. Kathie is a Node Leader and member of NIRAKN.

Roxanne Bainbridge, James Cook University

Roxanne Bainbridge is a Gungarri/Kunja woman from South Western Queensland. She is funded by the Australian Research Council in her position as Senior Research Fellow with The Empowerment Research Program at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University. Roxanne is a member of NIRAKN.

Len Collard, The University of Western Australia

Len Collard is a Whadjuk/Balardong Nyungar and traditional owner of the Perth region and surrounding districts. He is a Professor with the School of Indigenous Studies, the University of Western Australia. Len is a member of NIRAKN.

Mick Adams, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

Mick Adams is a Yadhiagana man with traditional family ties and relationships to the people of the Torres Straits, and Grindji, Warlpiri (Yuendumu), and East Arnhem Land (Gurrumaru) communities. He is a Research Fellow with the Health and Wellbeing Research Program at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra. Mick is a member of NIRAKN.

Dawn Bessarab, The University of Western Australia.

Dawn Bessarab is a Bardi/Indjarbardi woman and the Winthrop Professor and Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health (CAMDHI), the University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia. She is a member of NIRAKN.

Clair Andersen, The University of Tasmania.

Clair Andersen is a Gangallida/Yanyuwa woman and the Aboriginal Higher Education Advisor with the Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching, University of Tasmania. She is a member of NIRAKN.

Deb Duthie, Queensland University of Technology.

Deb Duthie is a WakkaWakka/Waramungu woman and Lecturer, Oodgeroo Unit, Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is a member of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), QUT and NIRAKN.

Rowena Ball, The Australian National University.

Rowena Ball is a Kairi woman and Associate Professor with the Mathematical Sciences Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra. Assoc Professor Rowena Ball is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and a member of NIRAKN.

Marlene Thompson (Longbottom), The University of Newcastle.

Marlene Thompson (Longbottom) is a Yuin woman and an Indigenous New Career Academic with the Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle. She is undertaking her PhD through the University of Newcastle. Marlene is a member of NIRAKN and a member of the NIRAKN Management Committee.

Carolyn Daniels, Central Queensland University.

Carolyn Daniels is an Anglo-Australian woman and working with the Office of Indigenous Engagement, Central Queensland University (CQUniversity) on a number of projects, including a project with the NIRAKN Health Node. She is undertaking her PhD full-time at CQUniversity.