Getting yourself out of the way: Aboriginal people listening and belonging in the city

Neil Harrison*, Rebecca Mclean

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Much is known about the meaning of Country to Aboriginal people living in northern Australia. Discourse abounds in various disciplines about how Country provides people in remote locations with a sense of belonging and place. Yet little is known about what Country means to Aboriginal people living in large urban locations such as Sydney, Australia. The two authors conducted a series of interviews with nine Aboriginal people about what Country and belonging mean for them in the city. A methodological relation between the two authors is explored as a means of reflecting on the role of mentoring in a research partnership, and on the transferal of research capacity through that collaboration. Older participants identify how listening and belonging are each governed by the other to the extent that there can be no belonging without listening. We draw on the frames of both human geography and philosophy to argue that listening depends on an ability to get yourself out of the way.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)359–368
    Number of pages10
    JournalGeographical Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


    • listening
    • belonging
    • contemporary Aboriginal lives
    • Country
    • urban
    • identity


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