Decolonising Australian Psychology: Discourses, Strategies, and Practice
School of Indigenous Studies, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
Centre for Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing, Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
Colonisation in Australia has had a devastating and lasting impact on the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia (herein referred to as Indigenous Australians). This paper discusses the role of psychology in Australia and the negative impact that certain disciplinary theories and practices have had on Indigenous Australians. The impact has been further exacerbated by the failure of mainstream policy makers and mental health practitioners to recognise the key, distinctive cultural and social determinants that contribute to Aboriginal health and wellbeing. There is a growing response by Aboriginal psychologists, critical social theorists, and their allies to decolonise psychological theory and practice to redress this situation. This paper outlines key decolonising strategies that have been effective in interrupting those aspects of psychology that are inimical to Aboriginal wellbeing.