Changing the Lens: Indigenous Perspectives on Psychological Literacy

Pat Dudgeon, Dawn Darlaston-Jones, Yvonne Clark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


An essential form of psychological literacy that is required in all psychology courses is an understanding of and ability to work with the many cultural groups that make up a given society. Psychology as a profession is part of a society that is shaped and directed by the history, values, norms and biases that characterise a cultural and temporal location in history. Therefore, this chapter argues that cultural competence should be the foundational lens through which all psychological knowledge is viewed. The chapter begins with a historical positioning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the context of colonisation and the ongoing consequences of disadvantaged derived from that. The chapter argues for the inclusion of cultural competence as a vehicle to overcoming social disadvantage and identifying the hidden barriers to equality. The chapter provides personal experiences both as students and educators, and discusses developments in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies in the psychology curriculum, with detailed descriptions of particular initiatives. While this chapter focuses on the Australian context, the issues raised are likely to be applicable to a global perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Psychologically Literate Citizen
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations and Global Perspectives
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199914500
ISBN (Print)9780199794942
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 22 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Australian psychology accreditation
  • Community psychology
  • Cultural competence
  • Indigenous psychology
  • Indigenous studies
  • National practice standards for the mental health workforce
  • Pedagogical approaches
  • Social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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