The final report of the Trust and Technology project is currently going through feedback process with the final report being made available on this site later this year (2009).
Trust and Technology: Summary of Outcomes
(29 November 2007)
Koorie people involved in this research have told us that they want to:
Trust and Technology has identified 7 outcomes which support the above aspirations. Outcomes 1 and 2 are the foundational perspectives on which the other outcomes are based. Outcomes 3, 4 and 5 address three challenges which emerged from the research as key needs of Koorie communities. Outcomes 6 and 7 address the implications of this research for researchers and educators.
Outcome 1: Koorie knowledge
All sources of Koorie knowledge - stories shared within families, audio-recorded histories, government and other organisational records – are highly valued by Koorie people wanting to understand their identity and history. We need to take on board a conceptualisation of Koorie knowledge which:
Outcome 2: Koorie rights
Various human rights statements support the assertion that Koorie people have the right to make decisions about the management of their knowledge in all its forms. However Koorie people are currently afforded few rights over that part of their knowledge which is in archival institutions. If we accept that archival records contain Koorie knowledge, we need to find ways to give effect to Koorie rights over this knowledge. In doing so we should recognise the particular claims of Koorie people which arise from the part archival records have played in the dispossession of Koorie people as well as in the recovery of identity.
Outcome 3: New approaches to rights and responsibilities in Koorie knowledge
The current Australian legal framework presents a number of obstacles to the realisation of Koorie rights in archival records, as proposed in outcome 2. We consider how the archives community could use a participant model to realign its principles and practices to give effect to Koorie rights in archival records. Alongside these policy initiatives there are also a number of legal strategies which could be pursued to give Koorie people greater rights over their knowledge.
Outcome 4: A holistic, community-based approach to Koorie archives
The holistic understanding of Koorie knowledge proposed by outcome 1 requires a holistic approach to the management of Koorie archives. Koorie knowledge cannot be made to adhere to the usual institutional/sectoral boundaries of archival programs. Holistic, community-based approaches to Koorie archives are needed to bring together, physically or virtually, all archives of a community regardless of their source or form.
Outcome 5: Setting the record straight
Koorie people express a strong desire to challenge the contents of ‘official’ records by recording their own narratives and perspectives alongside them – to set the record straight. International human rights principles and the experiences of other post-colonial, post-surveillance societies support this notion as an important means of acknowledging and limiting the ongoing potency of records which have been the tools and products of dispossession and control. We propose a Koorie Annotation System to enable Koorie people to challenge the errors or limitations of institutional records. Such a system will also contribute to the integration of Koorie knowledge.
Outcome 6. Researching together: rethinking the relationship between academia and Koorie communities
University-based researchers also need to overhaul research methods which position Indigenous (and other) communities as the subjects of research, and to pursue a participatory model of community-based research. This outcome presents lessons learned from this project about the colonisation of Koorie knowledge and the entanglement of knowledge systems. The principles of community-based participatory action research require promotion among consumers of research.
Outcome 7. Education and training for professional practice and scholarship
Recordkeeping educators, along with leading employers and professional associations, need to incorporate the new directions proposed in this report into foundational professional education and ongoing professional development.