Research Ethics, Positive and Negative Impact and working in an Indigenous Australian Context

Swijghuisen Reigersberg, Muriel Elsbeth. 2011. Research Ethics, Positive and Negative Impact and working in an Indigenous Australian Context. Ethnomusicology Forum, 20(2), pp. 255-262. ISSN 1741-1912 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

This paper will examine the notion of impact and how it overlaps with disciplinary considerations in applied ethnomusicology and research ethics in the context of
Indigenous Australia. I will refer specifically to my applied research undertaken with the Indigenous Lutheran Australian community of Hopevale, Northern Queensland, where I worked as a choral facilitator for a year. I did so at the community’s specific request, facilitating a community choir. The choir was affiliated to the local church in that most members were regular Lutheran worshippers, but was not specifically referred to as a church choir. As I will discuss, according to the ethical guidelines of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) pertaining to research undertaken in collaboration with Indigenous Australians, it is mandatory that researchers aim to achieve a positive impact and that research objectives reflect this. In the Australian context, AIATSIS guidelines argue, achieving positive impact should be an objective in itself, not simply the outcome of research processes.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

The author is a visiting fellow in the Music, Mind and Brain research centre and a research development officer in the research office at Goldsmiths', London.


research, ethics, Australian, Institute, Australian, Aboriginal, studies, applied, ethnomusicology, Hopevale, Northern, Queensland, Indigenous

Departments, Centres and Research Units:




Item ID:


Date Deposited:

30 Jul 2014 07:36

Last Modified:

30 Jul 2014 07:36

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)