The shortage of accountants
: the case of Indigenous Australians

  • Hassan Ibrahim Rkein

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    With an estimate of only ten Indigenous members of the Australian accounting professional bodies, this study investigated the possible factors that impede Indigenous students from studying accounting at university level and later joining the profession. It was anticipated that the exploration of these factors would assist in any strategy that aims at increasing the number of Indigenous accountants. Such an increase would reflect a higher participation of Indigenous peoples in financially related national policy and decision making processes. This would in turn reflect positively on Indigenous communities and perhaps ameliorate conflict between Indigenous values and accounting values.

    The participants in this research were Indigenous university students. A qualitative exploratory approach reflecting Indigenous methods was used. Analysis of the collected data showed that the Social Cognitive Career Theory Model (SCCT) which informed this analysis needed modification to fit into the Indigenous context.

    This study found that distal factors (for example, role models, family members, friends, and previous work and education) are what mainly affect students’ learning experience through which self-efficacy and outcome expectations develop to affect study choice. These two major variables together develop an interest in the study choice and, affected by proximal factors (such as discrimination conflict in values and cultural inclusiveness of the teaching/learning experience), the students make their relevant decisions. These findings correlated with the SCCT model; however it also emerged that another major variable which was neglected in the model, has a significant impact on study choice. That variable is financial support expectations. Indigenous leaders and accounting professional bodies that have now set a target of having 1000 Indigenous accountants by 2021, will find the recommendations from this research study of great significance to their developing strategy.
    Date of AwardFeb 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJohn Henry (Supervisor)

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