Strengthening pathways into higher education with remote indigenous communities in Australia: Lessons from the whole of community engagement initiative

James A. Smith, Terry Moore, Kim Robertson, Cat Street, Allison Stewart, Donna Stephens, Aurelie Girard, Dean Yibarbuk, Benjamin Christie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Community engagement is often cited as a critical component of working within indigenous communities in Australia and other countries. Ideally, this involves engaging in community-led and community-informed methods and place-based approaches that scope, identify, and respond to individual, family, group, and community needs and aspirations in a culturally responsive way. Such processes recalibrate power relationships and ensure indigenous leadership and self-determination is a central focus. This chapter reflects on key learnings from the implementation of the Whole of Community Engagement (WCE) initiative led through the Office of Pro Vice-Chancellor – Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University. This initiative used a combination of collaborative research, participatory action research, and developmental evaluation approaches to “inspire six remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory to include higher education as a normal expectation and milestone along the life journey.” Current education scholarship is used, alongside key findings from the WCE initiative, to identify and discuss 11 strategies for success to promote pathways into higher education for remote indigenous students. While these strategies are contextually bound, and specifically relate to the six remote communities involved in WCE, we encourage their use as a framework to examine their applicability in other settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafe, Supportive, and Inclusive Learning Environments for Young People in Crisis and Trauma
Subtitle of host publicationPlaiting the Rope
EditorsPatty Towl, Sheryl Hemphill
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Chapter15
Pages183-199
Number of pages17
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780429282102
ISBN (Print)9780367243739
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020

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