eCite Digital Repository

Study of intra-racial exclusion within Australian Indigenous communities using eco-maps


Doyle, K and Hungerford, C and Cleary, M, Study of intra-racial exclusion within Australian Indigenous communities using eco-maps, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26, (2) pp. 129-141. ISSN 1445-8330 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1111/inm.12259


In Australia, 'indigeneity' is not determined by skin colour, but rather by a person's heritage, acceptance by an indigenous community, and active participation in the affairs of that indigenous community. Some people who identify as indigenous, however, have experienced 'colourism' - that is, experiences of social exclusion because of the colour of their skin - from non-Indigenous and also Indigenous Australians. This paper describes research that explored the effect of intra-racial exclusion on the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, with a particular focus on skin colour or 'manifest indigeneity'. Framed within a qualitative design, an eco-map was used to guide in-depth interviews with 32 participants that gave rise to personal stories that described the distress of experiencing intra-racial colourism. Findings were derived from a thematic analysis that identified four major themes: 'Growing up black', 'Living on black country', 'Looking black', and 'Fitting in black'. These findings are important because they suggest a way forward for mental health nurses to better understand and support the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians who have experienced social exclusion as a result of colourism.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:colourism, ecological systems, identity, Indigenous Australian, mental health, social determinants of health
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
ID Code:115367
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2017-03-21
Last Modified:2018-09-25

Repository Staff Only: item control page