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Moana edication: Disciplinary practice vs form of social activity

Bronwyn Fredericks


‘Empowerment’ is a complex concept that draws on educational, psychological, social learning, social-structures and socio-ecological theories from a range of disciplines. It has multiple applications and its approaches can be used to highlight and address power relations, social exclusion, marginalisation and inequity. Despite this, the word empowerment is often misunderstood and in Australia its use is often framed from within the dominant culture. There are a limited number of studies that explore what Aboriginal Australians understand empowerment as for themselves. This article presents the narratives from in-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with Aboriginal women in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. Their words resonate some of their experiences and understandings of empowerment and the ongoing impact of Australia’s colonial history on their everyday lives and why empowerment approaches are vital.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740