25 July 2017: The Koorie Youth Council (KYC)'s submission into the Public Consultation into the Revised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Ethics Guidelines aims to shift the practices of research ethics bodies.
Throughout this letter, we reflect on our experience with research ethics and make recommendations that would have better enabled our positive inclusion and outcomes as an Aboriginal organisation. While guidelines can be useful in building cultural understanding for non-Aboriginal researchers, they are only one tool within complex system that requires a significant shift in its cultural paradigms and practice. We propose that the NHMRC implement other tools, partnerships and practices that enable culturally aware, ethical research. Our submission considers four key areas of focus needed to assist this shift towards better practice: cultural understanding, collaborative ethical practice, empowering research participants and representation.