University Of Tasmania
147394 - In Australia what is the best thing about being an indigenous father.pdf (406.15 kB)
Download file

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

Download (406.15 kB)
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.


Publication title

Australian Social Work








School of Social Sciences



Place of publication


Rights statement

© 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:

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander development and wellbeing