This paper outlines an approach to community-based research that I have developed along with my colleague Denis Crowdy and various postgraduate students at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. We have named this approach Culturally Engaged Research and Facilitation – initialised as CERF. We developed and deployed CERF in our interaction with communities on Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, the Whitsunday Islands and – as Dan Bendrups’s paper elsewhere in this volume discusses – Rapa Nui (Easter Island). While we have based CERF on interactions with small island cultures (hence my presentation at this conference) we also contend that, with modifications, it is more widely applicable. While we do not claim that there is anything particularly novel about individual elements of CERF, we would argue that our advocacy of it as a coherent approach is distinctive.