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What is the best thing about being an Indigenous father in Australia?


Prehn, J and A Baltra-Ulloa and Canty, J and Williamson, M, What is the best thing about being an Indigenous father in Australia?, Australian Social Work pp. 1-14. ISSN 1447-0748 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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© 2021 Australian Association of Social Workers. “his is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australian Social Work on 9 December 2021, available online:

DOI: doi:10.1080/0312407X.2021.2004180


In Australia, the ongoing structure of settler colonialism has meant understandings of Indigeneity continue to uphold deficit narratives about the lives of Indigenous peoples. The narrative that predominates for Indigenous fathers is often the labels of dysfunctionality, deviance, and disengagement with their children. Using the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children data, this paper seeks to challenge these deficit narratives to shed light not only on the strengths Indigenous fathers report of their experiences of fatherhood, but also on how fatherhood could be reconceptualised under an Indigenous epistemology. We applied a content analysis to answers generated by the question: what is the best thing about being your child’s father? The range of responses suggested a most positive and child centred experience of fatherhood where Indigenous fathers report the sharing of love and culture with their children as direct contributions to children growing strong. We followed recent efforts and used a strengths-based approach in Indigenous fathering research, to counter deficit narratives of Indigenous fatherhood and explore how an Indigenous standpoint can inform approaches to social, cultural, and health and wellbeing practices.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Indigenous social work, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, dad, parenting, relationality
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, society and community
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social work and social justice
Objective Division:Indigenous
Objective Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services
Objective Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander development and wellbeing
UTAS Author:Prehn, J (Dr Jacob Prehn)
UTAS Author:A Baltra-Ulloa (Dr Joselynn Baltra-Ulloa)
UTAS Author:Canty, J (Dr Justin Canty)
UTAS Author:Williamson, M (Mr Matthew Williamson)
ID Code:147394
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Social Work
Deposited On:2021-10-29
Last Modified:2022-01-13
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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