The Indigenous Knowledge Institute aims to advance research and education in Indigenous knowledge systems.
Following a commitment made by Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell at the Garma Festival in August 2019, the institute was launched at the 19th Symposium on Indigenous Music and Dance on 3 December 2020, led by the Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Cultures at the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development.
The Indigenous Knowledge Institute is one of five current Melbourne Interdisciplinary Research Institutes. These institutes aim to promote research linkages and collaboration across the University and to play a lead role in articulating University research to external audiences.
The Indigenous Knowledge Institute will build on the research and education activities already underway at the University to become a global leader in Indigenous knowledge research and education. The Institute will also build on the work of the Indigenous Hallmark Research Initiative which ceased operation in 2019.
Banner image: Ancestral Memory artwork by Maree Clarke. Photograph by Christian Capurro.
News and media
What is Indigenous knowledge?
Indigenous knowledge, sometimes called traditional or local knowledge, refers to the understandings and practices developed by Indigenous peoples through thousands of years of experience. Indigenous knowledge systems are characteristically holistic, relational, and rooted in a strong and continuing connection with the land, sky and waters. Knowledge is often passed down orally, and can be collectively owned. It can include or be embodied in language, song, story, ritual, lore, and customary practices.
The knowledge of Indigenous peoples does not represent a static body of traditional information, and the capacity to incorporate new tools and skills has always been fundamental to the dynamism of Indigenous cultures.
Indigenous Research and Education at the University
The University of Melbourne has a strong foundation in education and research that elevate Indigenous knowledge systems within the academy. The Indigenous Knowledge Institute is building on this foundation to foster partnerships and develop our Indigenous research profile across the University and beyond.
Learn more about some of the University’s Indigenous research initiatives and flagship Indigenous programs:
- Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity
- Cultural Commons
- Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Research and Leadership
- Indigenous Data Network
- Indigenous Epidemiology and Health Unit
- Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration
- Indigenous Studies Unit
- Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education Network
- MURRA Indigenous Business Program
- Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Wellbeing
- Poche Leadership Fellows Program
- Professional Certificate in Indigenous Research
- Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Cultures (RUIAC)
- Research Unit in Indigenous Language (RUIL)
- Reconciliation at the University of Melbourne
The Indigenous Knowledge Institute is committed to collaboration with Indigenous knowledge holders that are guided by core principles to ensure ethical, respectful and responsible relationships are developed and honoured.
The Institute’s Charter for Research with Indigenous Knowledge Holders gives expression to these principles and their application.
The institute is also guided by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies' Guidelines for Research in Australian Indigenous Studies.