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Talking About The Smokes: a large-scale, community-based participatory research project

Community-based “participatory research” (PR) is desirable because it fosters partnerships between a community and research agencies, enabling inclusivity, interdependence and democratic knowledge production to reduce health inequalities.14 Support for PR is particularly strong when research involves indigenous peoples5,6 as it promotes self-determination, creating more transparent and equitable conditions for knowledge creation and benefit sharing.3,7 PR as a methodology may range from being consultative5 through community-directed8 to community-controlled, where community groups exercise the highest expression of autonomy over research, assisted by research institutions.9

In Australia, one Aboriginal human research ethics committee (HREC) will only approve a research project when “there is Aboriginal community control over all aspects of the proposed research”, including design, data ownership, interpretation and publication.10 Other approval criteria include the betterment of Aboriginal peoples’ health, cultural sensitivity…