Research and Engagement

The Larrakia Nation has a long-running, high profile community research division. Larrakia Research utilises a best practice, culturally appropriate methodology, drawing on the organisation’s strong links with the Aboriginal community in Darwin and around the Top End to deliver high quality original research and community engagement outcomes.  The Division strives to deliver products and a rigorous evidence base that break down stereotypes, inform best practice service provision and policy and build community relations.  All of its projects concurrently serve as vehicles for capacity building individuals through the incorporation of a strong practical training element.


Current Projects

The Division was recently awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Linkage Grant to undertake a major three year social research project: Telling It Like It Is: Aboriginal perspectives on Aboriginals, Non-Aboriginals and Race Relations.  In partnership with renowned academics from across Australia, and experimenting with ground-breaking research methodologies, the Division will be investigating Aboriginal attitudes to mainstream Australia, and its key social and legal institutions, in order to better inform services and policy for this population.  The project is being guided by an Aboriginal Advisory Committee and implemented by our Aboriginal field research team.


Recent Projects

 The Darwin Radio Diaries (2012) This project aimed to give the mainstream population the opportunity to walk in the shoes of an Aboriginal person in Darwin for a day.  It sought to document the daily, lived experiences of Aboriginal people in an urban setting through in depth interviews with a diverse cross-section of the Aboriginal population of Darwin.  The project worked with housed, homeless, employed, unemployed, male, female, youth and older Aboriginal people around Darwin.  Audio material from the interviews was edited to create radio pieces for non-Aboriginal radio audiences and played on ABC Drive.  You can listen to the Diaries here.  They are freely available in MP3 format for use by anyone in the community.

Assessing tenant experiences of property and tenancy management reforms in the Northern Territory (2012) Undertaken for the Northern Territory Government and FaHCSIA, in partnership with Allen Consulting, LNAC assisted with the data collection in remote NT communities and advised on methodology, community selection and survey design, and developed the visual aides. You can read the Tenancy report here.

Message in the Bottle – a survey of drinking patterns and attitudes about alcohol policy amongst Darwin’s homeless (2011) Conducted on behalf of the Department of Justice, Northern Territory Government, this research documented the drinking patterns of the urban homeless Indigenous population, their attitudes to alcohol policy and the experiences of non-drinkers in that population.  This research plugged an important information gap, challenged prevailing stereotypes and identified practical policy recommendations from this hard-to-reach population.  You can read the Message in a bottle report here.

An Investigation into the influx of Indigenous ‘visitors’ to Darwin’s Long Grass from remote NT communities (2008) – This project worked with 550 participants. It investigated reasons for and experiences of homelessness, quantified trauma levels in the homeless Indigenous population and documented attitudes of the broader population to the homeless. It involved semi-structured interviews, face-to-face surveys, and the successful application of an adapted, culturally appropriate form of the Harvard Trauma Survey. The survey found rates of post traumatic stress disorder amongst our urban homeless exceed that of our returning service men and women.  The findings led to the creation and funding of a number of award winning outreach services at Larrakia Nation. You can read the Influx report here.


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