Article Title

The Indigenous Experience of Work in a Health Research Organisation: Are There Wider Inferences?


The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that positively and negatively impacted on the employment experiences and trajectories of Indigenous Australians who are currently or were formerly employed by a research organisation in both remote and urban settings. The study design was an embedded mixed-methods approach. The first phase quantified staff uptake, continued employment, and attrition. Then interviews were conducted with 42 former and 51 current Indigenous staff members to obtain qualitative data. The results showed that the quality of supervision, the work flexibility to enable employees to respond to family and community priorities, and training and other forms of career support were all identified as important factors in the workplace. The most common reasons for leaving were that research projects ended, or to pursue a career change or further study. The authors use the findings to make recommendations pertinent to policy formation for both government and organisations seeking to attract and nurture Indigenous staff.


The survey was designed by Adrienne Farago and Heather D’Antoine and was administered by seven research assistants over the life of the project, advised by a Project Steering Committee comprising Ms. Farago, Ms. D’Antoine, Ms. Linda Ward (statistical support team), and Associate Professor Tricia Nagel. The Principal Researcher was Adrienne Farago, who also conducted a number of interviews and the research assistants (in chronological order) were Tammy Fernandez, Luke Mayo, Cyan Earnshaw, Jess Spargo, Leeann Ramsamy and Andrew Vodic (together, Masha Friderichs. Tegan Harris designed and built the database and assisted with data manipulation. No external research funding was used in this research.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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