Doing ethical Indigenous criminology

Professor Maggie Walter

Pro Vice-Chancellor Aboriginal Research and Leadership, University of Tasmania

Population statistics are not neutral data. And statistical non-neutrality poses significant, but frequently disregarded or misunderstood ethical issues in the doing of Indigenous criminology. Indigenous population statistics in particular should be recognised as social and cultural artefacts that often say more about the group gathering and analysing those data than the group who are the subject of such data activity. This plenary session uses the NHRMC guidelines for research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to demonstrate the ‘do’s and ‘donts’ of doing ethic Indigenous criminology.


Maggie Walter (PhD) is member of the Palawa Briggs/Johnson Tasmanian Aboriginal family,  She is Professor of Sociology and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania. She has published extensively in the field of race relations and inequality and is passionate about Indigenous statistical engagement. Books include: Growing Up Strong: Indigenous Perspectives on the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (edited with K.L. Martin and G. Bodkin-Andrews, Palgrave Macmillan, in press); Indigenous statistics: a quantitative methodology (with Chris Andersen, Left Coast Press, 2013) Inequality in Australia: Discourses, Realities and Directions 2nd Edition (with D. Habibis OUP 2014) and Social Research Methods (ed) 3rd Edition, OUP 2013).


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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