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What is Knowledge Exchange?

For many people of Australia, apart from the First Peoples (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders), have arrived from the many diverse cultural places and with deep historical narratives. Australia today is a vibrant, INTERCULTURAL country. We are home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures, as well as Australians who identify with more than 270 ancestries. This video highlights how we can “Come Together” and build relationships, respect each other deeply and then find better outcomes for all Australians and First Nations people.


Each person possesses knowledge.
This is made up of facts, feelings, ideas, thoughts, experiences, interpretations, and stories.

When people come together they share their knowledge.
Sometimes this is the same.
Sometimes this is similar.
Sometimes this is different.
Sometimes no one knows.

When it is not the same or when no one knows this is where research can help.

The researcher is a facilitator and collector of information, and synthesiser and translator of this information.

The researcher is influenced by their own knowledge.

The researcher utilises three things:
(1) Fellow researchers, experts
(2) Previous research
(3) Stakeholders

Stakeholders can include:
(1) Decision makers
(2) The Community of interest
(3) The general public

The impact of research can be negatively influenced by bias, politics, power and fear.
It can also be negatively impacted up on by poorly interpreted data, poorly constructed methodology.

How do we find the truth and avoid the negative influences?

One approach is knowledge exchange — the process of creating new knowledge.

This is where new knowledge is created. Dr Marika describes this formation of new knowledge as Ganma.

Ganma is the name of a lagoon where saltwater meets fresh water. Water is a symbol of knowledge in Yolngu philosophy and the metaphor for the meeting of two bodies of water is a way to talking about knowledge systems of two cultures working together.

DIFFERENT VOICE: “A river of water from the sea and a river of water from the land mutually engulf each other upon flowing into a common lagoon and becoming one. In coming together, the streams of water mix across the interface of the two currents and foam is created. This foam represents a new kind of knowledge. The forces of the stream combine and lead to deeper understanding and truth. Essential, Ganma is a place where knowledge is (re)created”

Water like knowledge has memory. When two different waters meet to create Ganma, they diffuse into each other, but they do not forget who they are or where they come from. Using this metaphor, people from differing cultures and backgrounds can share deeply, without losing their history or integrity.
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