‘It wasn't just the academic stuff, it was life stuff’: the significance of peers in strengthening the Indigenous health researcher workforce


  • Tess Ryan University of Canberra
  • Shaun Ewen University of Melbourne
  • Chris Platania-Phung Australian College of Applied Psychology




Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, health workforce, higher education, peers, research capacity building



Health research remains a vital activity of Indigenous health workforces. This paper reports on the main findings of yarning interviews with 14 Indigenous researchers, that was central to a project analysing the role of research training infrastructures in strengthening the Indigenous health research workforce in Australia. The findings highlighted Indigenous researcher peers as core sources of inspiration, moral support and sustenance in academia and in life. Peer generative power arising from peer groups provide a unique enriching to the educational and research experience. Indigenous researcher peers have a strong shared aspiration to champion change to health research and higher education as a key pathway to widespread positive impacting on health and well-being. We suggest the (revived) development at a collective level of a strategic and planned approach to capitalising on the positive outcomes of peer generated leadership and support.


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How to Cite

Ryan, T., Ewen, S., & Platania-Phung, C. (2020). ‘It wasn’t just the academic stuff, it was life stuff’: the significance of peers in strengthening the Indigenous health researcher workforce. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 49(2), 135–144. https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2020.14



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