Skip to Main Content

Harvard Referencing Guide

Acknowledging Traditional Knowledge

The Australian Government Style Manual contains updated information on inclusive language. It is important to use language that is culturally appropriate and respectful of the diversity of Australia’s peoples.

Please follow the link below for information on how to write with, for or about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in a culturally appropriate and respectful way.

Tips for in-text citation and reference list entries

  • You should reference the information according to the style for that particular source (book, article, video etc). Where appropriate you can choose to acknowledge the author as an Elder, where applicable, and Nation Group (if known) further in your text.
  • The words, Elder, Aunty, and Uncle should not be abbreviated.
Example 1 (Book)
In-text citation
Bundjalung Elder, Uncle Charles Moran, highlights the importance of stillness and listening to the lessons from Country (Moran and Moran 2004:56).
Reference list
Moran CH and Moran G (2004) Talk softly, listen well: profile of a Bundjalung elder, Charles Moran, Southern Cross University Press.
Example 2 (Published interview)
  • When the person being interviewed doesn't appear in the author element in the Reference, integrate their Nation Group, title if applicable, and full name into the narrative of the sentence.
In-text citation
Gumbaynggirr Elder, Aunty Bea Ballangarry, explains how the removal of judgement found in yarning circles provides opportunities for healing (NSW Mental Health Commission 2016).
Reference list
NSW Mental Health Commission (20 January 2016) 'Guunumba Sit Down Circles with Aunty Bea Ballangarry - Coffs Harbour, NSW ' [video], NSW Mental Health Commission, YouTube, accessed 30 November 2020.
Example 3 (Elder's title in byline)
  • If the author's name includes Elder, Aunty, or Uncle in the byline of the publication, preserve their full name in the reference list.
In-text citation
Gumbaynggirr Elder, Aunty Shaa Smith, explains the importance of getting to know Country (Yandaarra with Gumbaynggirr Country et al., 2022)
Reference list
Yandarra with Gumbaynggirr Country, Aunty Shaa Smith, Uncle Bud Marshall, Smith N, Wright S, Daley L and Hodge P (2022) 'Ethics and consent in more-than-human research: some considerations from/with/as Gumbaynggirr Country, Australia', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 47(3): 709–724, doi:10.1111/tran.12520

Stop and think

  • Is the information accurate and appropriate?
  • Is the information something you are allowed to share?
  • Is the Community, Nation, or Language group acknowledged?
    • If so, you can also acknowledge them in your text.
    • If not, you can acknowledge in your text that this is Indigenous Knowledge with unknown origin.

Further reading