Grant awarded to investigate cyberbullying of Indigenous people

5 December 2019

Professor Bronwyn Carlson from Macquarie University’s Department of Indigenous Studies has been awarded a grant under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Indigenous scheme, to investigate Indigenous people’s experiences of cyberbullying.

The Discovery Indigenous scheme supports outstanding research projects led by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander researcher.

Professor Carlson’s project aims to explore how Indigenous people understand, experience and respond to cyberbullying, an issue that has documented links with self-harm and suicide, and has been called a ‘national crisis’.

According to The Australia Institute (2019), cyber-hate and cyber-violence has affected 39 per cent of Australians and has cost the economy $3.7 billion in healthcare and lost wages.

Professor Carlson says there is a significant gap in knowledge around Indigenous peoples’ experiences of online violence, both in Australia and globally.

“This project will focus on cyberbullying, broadly defined, and two other closely related forms of online violence experienced by Indigenous social media users: racism and lateral violence, which is violence directed against one’s peers rather than adversaries,” says Professor Carlson.

“Each of these forms of online violence has been identified as a significant public health concern for Indigenous peoples.”

Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) congratulated Professor Carlson on being awarded a Discovery Indigenous grant.

“This is an important project that will provide new insights into the growing issue of cyberbullying towards Indigenous people.

“Macquarie University is proud to promote excellence in Indigenous research and innovation, recognising the unique perspectives, knowledge production and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to research.”

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Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University

Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University

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