• critical race theory;
  • community cultural development;
  • receptive social environments;
  • whiteness;
  • racism


Race remains a significant issue in the lives of many people in Australia. For example, Indigenous Australians lives continue to be marked by social and economic disadvantage and everyday experiences of exclusion. Within this context, the Community Arts Network Western Australia promote social change and the empowerment of Indigenous groups through community cultural development. With an emphasis on community strengths and resources, community arts practice is employed to create, promote, and improve opportunities for participation, network development and empowerment. In this article, we explore these projects from a community psychology orientation, which is committed to developing opportunities for inclusion and also exposing the workings of power in everyday settings. Although there have been many positive outcomes that have resulted from the different activities with communities, there have also been significant barriers to transformative practice, in particular, issues of racialisation and continuing colonisation. We discuss our efforts aimed at understanding racism, which have included engaging with critical race theory and whiteness studies within the context of Indigenous and non-Indigenous partnerships for change. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.