Objective: The aim of this paper is to describe the implementation of the Community Safety Research Project (CSRP) focusing on violence prevention among Aboriginal communities in western NSW in order to examine how practice converges with contemporary ethical guidelines. Method: A comparison was made of key project elements with the principles outlined in existing ethical guidelines, outlining the concrete issues that need to be confronted in practice. Results: The approach being pursued is consonant with the principles of contemporary guidelines; the results of the first phase qualitative study inquiring into workers' perceptions of violence revealed some differences in the understanding of violence between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workers, with some ethical implications. Conclusions: Ethical approaches to research among Aboriginal communities include, but extend well beyond, the principle of avoiding harm. A comprehensive approach to ethical research requires significant ongoing expenditure of effort and resources with implications for project development, management and funding. © 2009 Informa UK Ltd.