Kungullanji program highlights value of Indigenous research

Griffith University’s Kungullanji Indigenous Student Research Conference marked the end of a successful summer research program for participants, highlighting some of Griffith’s talented, up-and-coming researchers this month.

The Kungullanji Summer Research Program aims to create research opportunities and pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students while improving their skills, enhancing their student experience and improving support for Indigenous researchers.

Scholars attend research training workshops and cultural support sessions while undertaking their research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students showcased the results of their summer research project, presenting a seminar and research poster at the conference on 12 February.

The Dean (Executive) of Griffith Graduate Research School, Professor Sue Berners-Price, says the interest in research generated by programs like the Kungullanji Summer Research Program is invaluable, and shows the exciting research capabilities of Griffith students.

“This program gives students a taste of what it’s like to be a researcher and the impact their research could have on the community.

“We are already seeing past graduates from the Kungullanji program transitioning to higher degree by research programs at Griffith and it’s exciting to see where our researchers of tomorrow will take this opportunity,” Professor Berners-Price said.

The conference ended on a high note with participants awarded for the most outstanding presentation and poster before taking part in a networking event to add to the development of their research careers.

Elizabeth Godfrey, a Master of International Law student and fourth time participant, won this year’s most outstanding presentation award, with Bachelor of Psychological Science student Brock Little awarded runner-up for his presentation.

Melissa Stannard, a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art student setting her sights on honours in 2020, won the most outstanding poster award, with Bachelor of Social Work student Shantara Noyes awarded runner-up for her poster.

Research conducted by the summer scholars ranged from educational tools to social justice, cultural heritage and history to health and wellbeing. The research projects included topics such as: protecting cultural sites with LIDAR technology, evaluating suicide prevention programs, exploring climate change adaptation in remote communities, medicinal properties of Manuka Honey, Indigenous voice to parliament, the use of digital tools to improve literacy and more.

These research topics reflect the diversity and talent of the next generation of Indigenous researchers at Griffith.

More information about the Kungullanji Program is available at its website.