ARC Future Fellowship: Significances of 'childhood' in postcolonial Australia

Project: Research

Project Details


The project investigates the rhetorical and political use of the figure of the Aboriginal child as a site of mediation in efforts to reconcile cultural tensions in Australia, particularly between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Utilising an interdisciplinary critical analysis of concepts of childhood, expected outcomes include enhanced understanding of the specific character of injury inflicted upon Aboriginal communities through interventions targeting their children, such as their removal into out of home care. This should provide significant benefits to the contemporary social project of reconciliation, through increasing critical attention to the part of cultural misunderstanding in perpetuating Aboriginal disadvantage.

Key findings

Through dissemination of this research in academic outlets, the project will strengthen the fields of comparative philosophy in Australia, and critical child studies internationally. Through dissemination in media outlets, it will contribute to the health of the social fabric, by addressing differences between Western and Indigenous ontologies that lead to unawareness of Aboriginal people's needs. Impact pathways include consultation with and reporting to members of the Aboriginal community.
Effective start/end date6/02/185/02/21