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Participatory methods for sustainable remote indigenous housing in Western Australia

McGrath, N., Marinova, D. and Anda, M. (2005) Participatory methods for sustainable remote indigenous housing in Western Australia. In: Urban Vestbro, D., Hürol, Y. and Wilkinson, N., (eds.) Methodologies in Housing Research. Urban International Press, Tyne & Wear, England, pp. 108-123.


This chapter examines the application of a participatory approach to improve the sustainability of housing development within the remote indigenous communities of Western Australia. A participatory action research project forms the basis of the analysis. This was conducted with the participation of a locol Indigenous community, relevant local service agencies, the State Government and Murdoch University between 2001 and 2002 in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, The project comprised two stages. Stage 1 involved a participatory data gathering process. Stage 2, Ministerial approval dependent upon the Stage 1 report, required the Murdoch team to facilitate the initiation of a community-based socio-political-economic development process, build management structures, and strengthen local institutional support. A number of participatory methods, documented and practiced within the broader international participatory paradigm, were employed. The use and results of the participatory methods in Stage 1 and 2 are detailed. Outcomes of each stage are respectively presented, The chapter concludes with the complexities and constraints of participatory action community research and development that is situated within a wider Institutional setting. Participatory methodologies are recommended within the Western Australian Government agencies in which to build their capacity for participatory processes that involve the restructuring of power relations required for dialogue and partnership with Indigenous communities.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Urban International Press
Copyright: © 2005 Urban International Press
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