Involving Young People in Research in Hedland - From ideas to action: a praxis model

Roz Walker, Tim Turner, Sharon Todd, Shakira Clanton, Richard Murphy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Abstract

This paper describes our experiences working with young people in
Hedland in the Pilbara using participatory action research (PAR) to
empower young people to transform their lives and create a more
socially just, caring and responsive community. Over the past two
years the fieldwork has taken place in the community and various
forums engaging with over 300 young people including at-risk, ‘hard
to reach’ young people (approximately 80% of whom are Aboriginal);
approximately 75 stakeholders who work with these young people, and
a further 50 people in social service sectors who want to link with these
young people. Throughout the project we have adopted community
development processes and transformative strategies (Freire 1993)
which promote individual and group empowerment, aspirations and
leadership. The project emphasises doing action research with young
people in a way that fosters genuine partnership that will ultimately lead
to the empowerment and resilience of young people and reconciliation.
The work has two distinct aspects — the processes and outcomes
involved in doing action research with young people and the goals,
purpose and content of the programs and activities being implemented.
This paper focuses on the processes involved in doing action research
with young people from their initial engagement in the research to their
involvement in the key events and outcomes. These include presenting
their issues to stakeholders, the ongoing development and refinement
of the Hedland Youth Development Framework (HYDF) and the
development of the Hedland Youth Development Plan (HYDP). It does
not discuss the merit or effectiveness of specific early interventions and
preventative strategies; although there is ample evidence that confirms
the efficacy of such approaches — that is the subject of another paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInvolving children and young people in research
Subtitle of host publicationa compendium of papers and reflections from a think tank co-hosted by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and the NSW Commission for Children and Young People on 11 November 2008.
Place of PublicationCanberra
Publisher ARACY and the NSW Commission for Children and Young People
Chapter13
Pages145-155
ISBN (Print)9781921352485
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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