Respecting cultural values: conducting a gambling survey in an Australian Indigenous community

By Nerilee Hing, Helen Breen, Ashley Gordon

Objective: This paper details how we, as ‘cultural outsiders’, conducted a large gambling survey in an Indigenous Australian community that adhered to Indigenous ethical protocols and values while differing from some standard survey practices. Approach: The paper summarises the ethical guidelines for onducting Indigenous public health research. It describes research processes used in the study in eight generic steps identified in Keeping Research on Track: A Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples About Health Research Ethics.1. It explains how adherence to these guidelines contributed to successful project completion.

Conclusion: The research processes used to conduct this project gave explicit recognition and commitment to respecting Indigenous cultural values and principles. It engaged the Indigenous community in ways that promoted its ownership of the research issue, ensured the validity and reliability of the research data and unearthed potential solutions to problems identified.

Implications: By sharing our experiences in attempting to conduct research that respected these values and principles, we have contributed to culturally appropriate and ethical research with participating Indigenous peoples and communities. 

Key words: gambling, Indigenous, ethics, methods.

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