Research as intervention: Engaging silenced voices


  • Michael Wright


The emergence of Indigenous researchers into the public health research sector presents a challenge to what have traditionally been Western-based research approaches and practices. Among these challenges are those owed to the distinctive methodologies and different epistemologies, ways of knowing or world-view that regularly characterise members of these distinctive cultural groups. Globally, there are many distinct Indigenous epistemologies, but for the purposes of this paper I focus on Australian Indigenous world-views, and the ways that these have been shaped by Colonial practices. By exploring the concept of Indigenous world-views, and how power imbalances occur between these and more culturally mainstream alternatives, attention will be directed to how such imbalances continue to present major challenges for public health researchers. I will argue that most, if not all, research is a form of intervention. Research as intervention needs to be transformational by both engaging and empowering the ‘silenced’ voices.