A national research project, inclusive of many groups of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (e.g. Elders, LGBTQ peoples, different language groups etc.) is needed to further examine views about gender roles, gender expression and gender equity, to reflect the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples experiences.
Further research should be undertaken to explore the gendered, cultural and collective aspects of Aboriginal resilience. This includes describing the self-care tools that have developed over generations, the extent to which men and women are engaged in cultural revitalisation and the connections between individual and community resilience. This will expand the knowledge base for culturally relevant, gender sensitive programs and policy to improve Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing.
Further research is required to raise awareness of the experiences and needs of LGBTQ peoples, and their contribution to culture and community.
For Policy and Practice
Gender should be a key consideration of future policies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, recognising that the impacts of public policy are often gendered, and have the potential to either perpetuate inequality or advance gender equity.
Specific actions to advance gender equity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples need to be developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and, within broader strategies to attain self-determination, recognising that Aboriginal people often face many forms of marginalisation and discrimination that intersect and can multiply inequity.
Community services that are safe spaces and inclusive to all men need to be expanded, to provide culturally appropriate avenues for Aboriginal men to discuss emotions and seek emotional and cultural support. This includes services that are built on a foundation of strengths, rather than addiction or grief, to promote connections with other men and to community.
Community awareness strategies, including initiatives in schools, developed in partnership with Aboriginal people, are needed to advance understanding of the influence of gender in people’s lives, to counteract racial and gender stereotypes, and promote positive Aboriginal male, female and gender diverse role models. Strategies are needed for both Aboriginal and non-Indigenous communities.
Health and community services should incorporate Aboriginal LGBTQ awareness training which is designed by and delivered by Aboriginal people. This would provide tailored information and support in a safe and inclusive environment.
Existing strategies and initiatives developed to address family violence in communities, need to consider the unique experiences of LGBTQ people and specifically address this type of violence.
Services and spaces for Aboriginal LGBTQ people to safely come together in the community are needed to reduce isolation, counteract homophobia and promote cultural connections.