Indigenous Education & Training

I have a strong interest in issues of Indigenous education and reconciliation.  From 1983, I worked with Batchelor College (now Institute) on self-evaluation processes in Aboriginal teacher education, and worked with a number of North East Arnhem Land schools on the education and development of Aboriginal teachers.  That involvement led to my 1987-8 appointment to evaluate the Remote Area Teacher Education programs offered by Batchelor.  In 1998, I participated (with two Yolngu women) in an international conference on Indigenous Science at the University of Calgary in Canada.  I was instrumental in the development of a Deakin University program for Aboriginal teachers upgrading to the Bachelor of Arts in Education degree run by Deakin at Batchelor.  I was also instrumental in the formation of the Deakin Aboriginal Teacher Education program, and the subsequent development of the Deakin Institute of Koorie Education.  In 1994, I was a consultant to the national Review of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Educational Policy chaired by Mandawuy Yunupingu.  I was one of a number of people assisting with the preparation of proposals which led to the formation of the Garma Cultural Studies Institute of the Yothu Yindi Foundation.  In 1995, I worked with the Aboriginal Studies Centre of Curtin University, preparing papers on reconciliation issues in higher education which helped form reconciliation practices in the curriculum and teaching processes of Curtin University.  In 1996-7, in my role as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Operations) of the University of Ballarat, I assisted the University’s Koorie Education Unit in its work, and I wrote the first draft of the University’s Statement of Reconciliation. In 1998-9, I worked with Woolum Bellum Koorie Open Door Education school in East Gippsland assisting it in development work as part of the National Schools Network Full Service Schools Research Circle.  In 1999, I chaired a review of the Aboriginal Centres of the University of Western Australia.  In 2000, I was so-facilitator (with Viv White, Director, Australian National Schools Network) of an Action Research Workshop in Brisbane for Queensland Aboriginal Education Coordinators.
Each year since 1998, I have prepared a report for the Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council (AETC) on the previous year’s implementation of the Western Australian Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Education and Training (known as “the Kemmis reports”).  These reports synthesize statistical and qualitative information in annual reports to the AETC from all providers of Aboriginal education and training in the state, together with information from other reports to the AETC.  Copies of the reports are distributed by the AETC to (among others) the Ministers for Education, Training, Aboriginal Affairs and Justice in WA, and to the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training.  In 2001, I advised the AETC on the development of its Monitoring and Reporting Framework for the new WA Strategic Plan to come into effect in 2002-3.

Some of my publications in the field of Indigenous education and training are:  A Study of the Batchelor College Remote Area Teacher Education Program: 1976 – 1988:  Final Report (Geelong, Victoria, Deakin Institute for Studies in Education, 1988, 142pp.);  Draft Report:  Analysis of Submissions to the National Review of Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People,  May 11, 1994;  Final Report:  Analysis of Submissions to the National Review of Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People,  May 29, 1994;  National Review of Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People:  Summary Report on Public Consultations,  July 18, 1994;  Synthesis Report:  Analysis of Submissions to the National Review of Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People,  August 10, 1994;  A Rational for University Participation in the Reconciliation Process (Perth, WA:  Curtin Indigenous Research Centre, Curtin University.  Discussion paper No.3, 1997, 18pp.);  Rethinking Equity and Justice in the University (Perth, WA:  Curtin Indigenous Research Centre, Curtin University, Discussion paper No.4, 1997, 14pp.);  Synthesis Report on the 1997 Implementation of the Aboriginal Education and Training Strategic Plan 1997-1999 (Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council, Western Australia, Perth, 1998, 190pp.);  Final Synthesis Report on the 1998 Implementation of the Aboriginal Education and Training Strategic Plan 1997-1999 (Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council, Western Australia, Perth, 1999, 200 pp.);  Synthesis Report 1999 (Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council, Western Australia, Perth, 2001, 250 pp.);  Meta-Evaluation:  Monitoring of the 1999 Implementation of the WA Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Education and Training (Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council, Western Australia, Perth, 2001, 9 pp.);  and 2000 Implementation of the Western Australian Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Education and Training (Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council, Western Australia, Perth, 2002, 310 pp.).  At the Council’s request, I also prepared a Draft Monitoring and Reporting Framework for the 2000-2004 WA Strategic Plan for the WA Aboriginal Education and Training Council (2001, 55pp.).  In 2004, Dharmadasa Serasinghe and I completed our report 2001 Implementation of the Western Australian Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Education and Training.  for Western Australian Aboriginal Education and Training Council).

With Marianne Atkinson Thurling and Roslin Brennan Kemmis, I presented a keynote address “Indigenous Education:  A Collective Task for All Australians” (published in  the Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Society for the Provision of Education to Rural Australia, 2004, Society for the Provision of Education to Rural Australia, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, 2004).  With Marianne Thurling, Roslin Brennan Kemmis, Peter Rushbrook and Richard Pickersgill, I conducted a study of Indigenous staff in vocational education and training for the National Council for Vocational Education Research, Adelaide, to appear in 2005).