La Trobe
Housing and overcrowding in remote Indigenous communities.pdf (695.63 kB)

Housing and overcrowding in remote indigenous communities: impacts and solutions from a holistic perspective

Download (695.63 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2021-06-23, 02:18 authored by PT Buergelt, EL Maypilama, J McPhee, G Dhurrkay, S Nirrpuranydji, S Mänydjurrpuy, M Wunungmurra, Timothy SkinnerTimothy Skinner, A Lowell, S Moss
Over three years, a $12 million Commonwealth funded consortium project implemented energy efficiency initiatives in six remote Indigenous communities. An ecological community-based participatory action research design that utilized qualitative and quantitative research approaches in a multiple methods design was employed to clarify how YolLatin small letter Engu use power, to identify the barriers and enablers of YolLatin small letter Engu using power wisely, and to evaluate the project. 16 Indigenous co-researchers conducted 125 in-depth qualitative interviews with community members across the six communities in the local languages. The principal non-Indigenous researcher also conducted 24 in-depth qualitative interviews with relevant non-Indigenous community members. All interviews were transcribed and systematically analysed using a combination of content, thematic and narrative analysis strategies. This culturally responsive research design provided the opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members to disclose their perspectives authentically. The analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data revealed that house designs used in remote communities are inappropriate for the tropical climate and for the Australian Indigenous culture and society. Additionally, the housing situation has culminated in overcrowding. The holistic and critical perspective employed identified that climatically and culturally inappropriate housing, and insufficient housing and overcrowding are key contributors to power being used inefficiently and to a myriad of intertwined challenges faced by Indigenous people in remote communities, such as chronic disease, depression, conflict, employment and school attendance. Together, these issues are undermining and challenging the strength and resilience of Indigenous people, harming the very culture that might hold the key to our survival.


We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Yolrju co-researchers and the Yolrju community members in the six remote Indigenous communities. It has been a great honour and privilege to work with you and to learn from you. We greatly appreciate you trusting us, being open and willing to generously share your stories and to allow us to participate in your lives, and generously forgiving us cultural and social blunders we unintentionally made. We acknowledge your ownership of the data. We sincerely thank the project consortia for leading the project and the project team for conducting the project with much passion. We are also very grateful for the funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia and the support of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.


Publication Date



Energy Procedia


Ma Z Kokogiannakis G Cooper P




Energy Procedia




8p. (p. 270-277)



Name of conference

Improving Residential Energy Efficiency International Conference IREE 2017


Wollongong, Australia

Starting Date


Finshing Date


Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Usage metrics

    Conference Papers


    No categories selected