Advertisement

Being Ourselves, Naming Ourselves, Writing Ourselves: Indigenous Australian Women Disrupting What It Is to Be Academic Within the Academy

  • Bronwyn Fredericks
  • Nereda White
  • Sandra Phillips
  • Tracey Bunda
  • Marlene Longbottom
  • Debbie Bargallie
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter shares the experience of a group of Indigenous women with academic writing. In our stories, we discuss the professional and personal challenges we face as Indigenous people, as women and as academics, and most specifically as academic writers. Paramount is the difficulty of being in institutions that do not value our cultural knowledges, our ways of being, and our specific expertise. In its institutional form, the university remains largely assimilationist that denies other ways of thinking, being and writing. For us, our writing is about being resistant to that assimilation, and provides an avenue to have our voices heard, while staying strong and true to our Indigenous cultures and heritage.

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013). Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2011. ABS Cat. No. 3238.0.55.001. Canberra, Australia: ABS. Online. Available: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3238.0.55.001. Accessed 09 June 2018.
  2. Australian Government, Department of Education and Training. (2016). Table 2.6: Number of full-time and fractional full-time staff by State, Higher Education Institution, Current Duties and Gender, 2016. Selected Higher Education Statistics – 2016 Staff Data, 2016 Staff Numbers.Google Scholar
  3. Behrendt, L., Larkin, S., Griew, R., & Kelly, P. (2012). The review of higher education access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government.Google Scholar
  4. Bin Sallik, M. (2000). Aboriginal women by degrees: Their stories of the journey towards academic achievement. St Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  5. Brewster, A. (1996). Reading Aboriginal women’s autobiography. Sydney, NSW: Sydney University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bunda, T. A., & White, N. (2009). Final project report: The Australian Learning and Teaching Council Leadership for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Program: Tiddas Showin’ Up, Talkin’ Up and Puttin’ Up: Indigenous women and educational leadership. Adelaide, SA: Flinders University and Australian Catholic University.Google Scholar
  7. Collellmir, D. (2002). Australian Aboriginal writers and the process of defining and articulating Aboriginality. Cross Cultures, 52, 53–76.Google Scholar
  8. Ellis, C., Adams, T. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2011). Autoethnology: An overview. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  9. Fitzgerald, T. (2003a). Changing the deafening silence of Indigenous women’s voices in educational leadership. Journal of Educational Administration, 41(1), 9–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fitzgerald, T. (2003b). Interrogating orthodox voices: Gender, ethnicity and educational leadership. [Article]. School Leadership & Management, 23(4), 431–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Frawley, J. (2017). Indigenous knowledges, graduate attributes and recognition of prior learning for advanced standing: Tensions within the academy. In J. Frawley, S. Larkin, & J. A. Smith (Eds.), Indigenous pathways, transitions and participation in higher education. London, UK: Springer Open.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frawley, J., Nolan, M., & White, N. (2009). Indigenous issues in universities – Research, teaching and support. Darwin, NT: Charles Darwin Press.Google Scholar
  13. Fredericks, B. (2007). Talkin’ up the research. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 10(2), 45–53.Google Scholar
  14. Fredericks, B. (2008). Researching with Aboriginal women as an Aboriginal woman researcher. Australian Feminist Studies, 23(55), 113–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fredericks, B. (2009). The epistemology that maintains white race privilege, power and control of Indigenous studies and Indigenous peoples’ participation in universities. Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association eJournal, 5(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  16. Fredericks, B. (2011a). Universities are not the safe places we would like to think they are but they are getting safer’: Indigenous women academics in higher education. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 14(1), 41–53.Google Scholar
  17. Fredericks, B. (2011b). Rock pools of critical thought: Finding a place to think through my higher degree and what a PhD was all about. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 14(1), 19–30.Google Scholar
  18. Fredericks, B., & Bargallie, D. (2016). ‘Which way? Talking culture, talking race’: Unpacking an Indigenous cultural competency course. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 9(1), 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fredericks, B., & White, N. (2011). Reflections from senior women academics. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 14(1), 97–100.Google Scholar
  20. Fredericks, B., White, N., Bunda, T., & Baker, J. (2011). Demonstrating Indigenous women’s educational leadership: Tidda’s Showin’ Up, Talkin’ Up and Puttin’ Up! Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 14(1), 3–8.Google Scholar
  21. Grossman, M. (2001). Bad Aboriginal writing: Editing, Aboriginality and textuality. Meanjin, 60(3), 152–165.Google Scholar
  22. Grossman, M. (Ed.). (2003). Blacklines: Contemporary critical writing by Indigenous Australians. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Heiss, A. (2003). Dhuuluu-Yala = to talk straight: Publishing Indigenous literature. Canberra, Australia: Aboriginal Studies Press.Google Scholar
  24. IHEAC (Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council). (2008). Submission to the review of Australian higher education. http://www.deewr.gov.au/search/results.aspx?k=Indigenous%20academics%20who%20publish. Accessed 1 Feb 2012.
  25. IHEAC (Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council). (2011). The national Indigenous higher education workforce strategy. Canberra, Australia: Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council.Google Scholar
  26. Melbourne University. (2018). Media release: Melbourne University honours Australia’s first university graduate. https://education.unimelb.edu.au/news_and_activities/news/news-articles/2015/media-release-the-university-of-melbourne-honours-australias-first-aboriginal-university-graduate-18-september-2015. Accessed 21 May.
  27. Moreton-Robinson, A. (2000). Talkin’ Up to the white women: Indigenous women and feminism. St. Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  28. Moreton-Robinson, A., Walter, M., Singh, D., & Kimber, M. (2011). ‘On stony ground’: Governance and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in Australian universities (Report to the review of higher education access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people). Canberra, Australia: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.Google Scholar
  29. Ottman, J. (2017). Canada’s Indigenous peoples’ access to post-secondary education: The spirit of the ‘New Buffalo’. In J. Frawley, S. Larkin, & J. Smith (Eds.), Indigenous pathways, transitions and participation in higher education. Singapore: Springer Open.Google Scholar
  30. Smith, J., Trinidad, S., & Larkin, S. (2017). Understanding the nexus between equity and Indigenous higher education policy agendas in Australia. In J. Frawley, S. Larkin, & J. Smith (Eds.), Indigenous pathways, transitions and participation in higher education. London, UK: Springer Open.Google Scholar
  31. Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous peoples. Dunedin, NZ: University of Otago Press.Google Scholar
  32. Universities Australia. (2011). National best practice framework for Indigenous cultural competency in Australian universities. Canberra, Australia: Author. Available: http://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/lightbox/1312
  33. Universities Australia. (2017). Indigenous strategy 2017–2020. Canberra, Australia: ACT.Google Scholar
  34. White, N. (2007). Indigenous women’s career development: Voices that challenge educational leadership (Unpublished Professional Doctorate thesis). Melbourne, Victoria: Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University.Google Scholar
  35. White, N. (2010). Indigenous women’s leadership: Stayin’ strong against the post-colonial tide. International Journal of Educational Leadership, 13(1), 7–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. White, N. (2011). Murri woman on graduation day. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 14(1), 39–40.Google Scholar
  37. White, N., & Fredericks, B. (2011). Final report: Tiddas writin’ up: Indigenous women and educational leadership. Canberra, Australia: Australian Teaching and Learning Council: Australian Catholic University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bronwyn Fredericks
    • 1
  • Nereda White
    • 2
  • Sandra Phillips
    • 3
  • Tracey Bunda
    • 4
  • Marlene Longbottom
    • 5
  • Debbie Bargallie
    • 6
  1. 1.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.BrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.University of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  4. 4.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  5. 5.University of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  6. 6.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations