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


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Prehn, J ORCID: 0000-0002-0237-1513, A Baltra-Ulloa, ORCID: 0000-0002-4936-6850, Canty, J ORCID: 0000-0001-8992-2463 and Williamson, M ORCID: 0000-0002-5113-6501 2021 , 'What is the best thing about being an Indigenous father in Australia?' , Australian Social Work , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.1080/0312407X.2021.2004180.

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Prehn, J and A Baltra-Ulloa, and Canty, J and Williamson, M
Keywords: Indigenous social work, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, dad, parenting, relationality
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Social Work
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1447-0748
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/0312407X.2021.2004180
Copyright Information:

© 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:

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