ISSR’s program of Indigenous research projects involve active participation and partnership with Indigenous leaders to investigate and develop initiatives that improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This research occurs through a strong connection with The University of Queensland’s Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (AERC), which provides research and teaching services in relation to the culture, environment and architecture of Australian Indigenous communities.

Both the AERC and the Institute use strength-based approaches that:

  • acknowledge the existing socioeconomic strengths of communities,
  • are based on evidence of successful practice and results,
  • build constructive collaborations to address prevalent inter-cultural social problems,
  • seek new economic enterprises for remote area and rural groups, and
  • promote self-determination and quality of life of Indigenous people.

Contact us for partnership opportunities

The Wild Australia Show Officially on Tour

Yungkwa, Sydney, June 1893 (photo by Henry King, UQ Anthropology Museum Collection)

ISSR’s Professor Paul Memmott, in partnership with a national multi-disciplinary team of researchers and curators, took the Wild Australia Show 1892-93 back on the road, commencing with the Grafton Regional Gallery. The photographic exhibition of this historic travelling Aboriginal performance was originally held at The University of Queensland’s Anthropology Museum in 2015-16. Two of the exhibition’s originators, Paul Memmott and Michael Aird, had since formed a larger research project to both share and gather information that advances understanding of this significant piece of Aboriginal Australian history. 

Read our story (PDF 385 kb)

A look at Kaiadilt culture through Sally Gabori art

Prof Memmott discusses Kaiadilt culture

ISSR Professor Paul Memmott, Director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre, provided historical expertise to Dulka Warngiid – Land of All, a retrospective QAGOMA exhibition celebrating the life of the late Kaiadilt artist, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori. Prof Memmott shared a panel discussion about her life and work with Judith Ryan, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Victoria, and panel moderator Bruce McLean, Curator, Indigenous Australian Art, QAGOMA.

Read more in the ISSR article


ISSR offers two types of learning opportunities within the Indigenous research field:

  • Short courses - beneficial for those analysing or interpreting data for use in policies, practices, or research
  • Research Higher Degree - a research degree, such as a Masters degree or a PhD, for those wishing to advance theoretical knowledge in matters concerning Indigenous culture

Methods for Social Analysis and Statistics (MFSAS)

MFSAS training teaches professionals from government, non-government organisations and industry how to analyse and interpret data for evidence-based decision-making.

Four MFSAS training products are available:

  • Introductory ‘dealing with data’, self-guided training resources, cover the basics of data and data collection.
  • Applied ‘working with data’ courses, introduce practical techniques for data analysis to identify appropriate analyses for research questions around similarity and difference, and analysis and interpretation of results.
  • Advanced Longitudinal Data Analysis, a five-day intensive specifically designed for professionals using longitudinal data in policy development and decision making, or in research. 
  • Stata, a full course covering introductory concepts through code and graphics.

Discover more about MFSAS training

Research Higher Degrees

Contact an ISSR research leader with a topic of your choosing, or find inspiration from our list of featured projects.

Discover more about an RHD          Scholarships

ARC LP16 How Meston’s Wild Australia show shaped Australian Aboriginal history

The Wild Australia Show (1892–93) was staged by a company of Aboriginal people for metropolitan audiences in colonial Australia. In this ISSR-led research, it becomes the focus of an interdisciplinary study of performance, photography, collections and race relations in colonial Australia using archival and visual records.... Read more

Indigenous Design Place

The Indigenous Design Place is a research hub, drawing together academic research teams, Indigenous collaborators and professional support to catalyse social and economic change by delivering culturally appropriate planning and applied research products and publications.... Read more

Aboriginal responses to climate change

This study takes an interior arid-zone region as a pilot study in which to investigate, document and generate planning principles concerning Aboriginal perceptions and knowledge of climate change, and regional community capacity to respond and adapt to climate change at a number of levels,... Read more

Aboriginal lifeworlds, conditionality, and housing outcomes

This study addresses the issues of obtaining an optimum balance between conditionality (especially tenancy rules and duties) and preserving Indigenous social capital, so as to enable an effective ‘recognition space’ between tenants’ life values and housing managers’ rule... Read more

Defining the impact of regionalism on Aboriginal housing and settlements

The aim of this project is to analyse, quantify and improve our understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing needs by developing an innovative regional approach to needs assessment, that considers cultural protocols, access to services, sustainable design and regional governance.... Read more