Indigenous psychology in Australia
Kurongkurl Katitjin / Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Experiences of colonial oppression have had a profound and enduring effect on the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and communities throughout Australia and other indigenous nations globally. On almost every headline, indicator statistics show that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people fare worse than their non-Indigenous counterparts. Australian psychology has been implicated in the marginalisation and disenfranchisement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since colonisation. In spite of this, a distinctive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous psychology has emerged in recent decades as a point of resistance to the dominant discourses in Australian psychology. The principles and practices of Australian Indigenous psychology will be described with particular reference to the establishment in 2008 of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA). AIPA has provided a rallying point for advocacy and capacity building for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists. In addition, a number of key theoretical and methodological frameworks have emerged to guide decolonising practice in the intercultural space. The chapter concludes with the Australian Psychological Society’s 2016 apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, an excerpt of which is quoted above.