Winhanga-duri-nya (to reflect)

Michelle Bovill
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00678
Published online: 11 December 2017

A bridge between Indigenous knowledge and peer-reviewed knowledge needs to be better built

Growing up, my mother told me that I was more privileged than many of my fellow Indigenous brothers and sisters. I was not raised on a mission or reserve, and I had a large supportive family and access to education. I was always told to acknowledge this privilege and to use its benefits to give back to my community and people. I am a Wiradjuri woman who has grown up in the Worimi country. I am a mother, artist, community cultural development practitioner, social worker and now a PhD candidate in Aboriginal Health at the University of Newcastle, supported by a National Heart Foundation Indigenous Scholarship. I have a goal: to become an academic, a chief investigator, implementing health research in partnership and co-ownership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

  • University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW


Michelle Bovill is supported by an Australian Heart Foundation Indigenous Scholarship (#101555).

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Smith LT. Decolonizing methodologies: research and Indigenous peoples. London: Zed Books; 1999.
  • 2. Martin K. Please knock before you enter: Aboriginal regulation of outsiders and the implications for researchers. Teneriffe, QLD: Post Pressed; 2008.
  • 3. Cook MR, Russell L. Museums are returning Indigenous human remains but progress on repatriating objects is slow. The Conversation 2016; 1 December. (accessed July 2017).
  • 4. Mundine K, Edwards L, Williams JDB. Why an Aboriginal ethical perspective is necessary for research into Aboriginal health. Proceedings of the “From the Ground Up” Conference on Aboriginal Health in the 63rd Millennium; 3 May 2001. Penrith, NSW: Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, 2001.
  • 5. Malaspinas AS, Westaway MC, Muller C, et al. A genomic history of Aboriginal Australia. Nature 2016; 538: 207-214.
  • 6. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Closing the Gap: Prime Minister’s Report 2017. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia; 2017. (accessed Oct 2017).
  • 7. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Indigenous statistics for students [website]. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2010.!OpenDocument (accessed Oct 2017).
  • 8. Blair N. Privileging Australian Indigenous knowledge: sweet potatoes, spiders, waterlilys and brick walls. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing; 2015.
  • 9. Bessarab D, Ng’andu B. Yarning about yarning as a legitimate method in Indigenous research. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies 2010; 3: 37-50.
  • 10. Bovill M, Gruppetta M, Cadet-James Y, et al. Wula (voices) of Aboriginal women on barriers to accepting smoking cessation support during pregnancy: findings from a qualitative study. Women Birth 2017; doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2017.06.006 [Epub ahead of print].
  • 11. Bovill M, Bar-Zeev Y, Gruppetta M, et al. Collective and negotiated design for a clinical trial addressing smoking cessation supports for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers in NSW, SA and Qld – developing a pilot study. Aust J Prim Health 2017; doi: 10.1071/PY16140 [Epub ahead of print].


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.