Advertisement

Situating Indigenous Knowledges and Governance Within the Academy in Australia

  • Maggie Walter
  • Wendy Aitken
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The 2012 Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (the Behrendt Report) set a new direction in Indigenous/academy engagement. In contrast to previous (failed) policies, the report prioritizes fostering Indigenous leadership, embedding Indigenous knowledges within university curricula and ways of doing business, incorporating Indigenous governance across the sector as keys to improving Indigenous outcomes. Mediating a secure, sector-wide, normalized space for Indigenous knowledges, however, brings with it hazards as well as potential returns. Achieving a whole-of-university responsibility requires opening up a recognition of the non-Indigenous culture already deeply embedded in existing governance structures as a pivotal precursor to a normalized empowered Indigenous presence within sector governance systems. Failure to do so risks revitalizing tokenism and/or co-option. Developed from a 2011 submission to the Behrendt Report, updated to reflect changes emanating from that report, this chapter explores the challenges, constraints, and unexpected gains inherent in closing the ontological gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous understanding of Indigenous governance and knowledges within the academy.

Keywords

Indigenous knowledges Ontological gap Color-blind racism 

References

  1. Beck U, Beck-Gernsheim E (2002) Individualization. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Behrendt Report (2012) Review of higher education access & outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Behrendt Review). Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  3. Bobo L (1997) Race, public opinion, and the social sphere. Public Opin Q 61(1 special issue on Race (spring)):1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bonilla-Silva E (2010) Racism without racists: colour-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States, 3rd edn. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  5. Butler K (2006) (Re)presenting Indigeneity: the possibilities of Australian sociology. J Sociol 42:369–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Department of Education and Training (1989) National Aboriginal Education Policy. https://www.education.gov.au/national-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-education-policy-1989. Accessed 27 September 2017
  7. Harvey D (2005) A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Held D (1990) Introduction to critical theory: Horkheimer to Habermas. Polity Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Hollinsworth D (2006) Race and racism in Australia. Thomson, South MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  10. Horkheimer M (1996) Critique of instrumental reason: lectures and essays since the end of World War II. Continuum, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Kinder DR, Sears DO (1981) Prejudice and politics: symbolic racism versus racial threats to the good life. J Pers Soc Psychol 40(3):414–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kruske S, Kildea S, Barclay L (2006) Cultural safety and maternity care for aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Women and Birth 19(3):73–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lipsitz G (2006) The possessive investment in whiteness: how white people profit from identity politics. Temple University Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  14. Mapstone E (1995) Rational men and conciliatory women: graduate psychologists construct accounts of argument. Feminism and Psychology 5(1):61–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Martin K (2008) Please knock before you enter: Aboriginal regulation of outsiders and the implications for researchers. Post Press, Teneriffe, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  16. McConville G (2002) Regional agreements, higher education and representations of Indigenous Australian reality (Why wasn’t I taught that in school?), Australian Universities’ Review, 45(1):15–24Google Scholar
  17. Moreton-Robinson A, Walter M, Singh D, Kimber M (2011) On stony ground: governance and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in Australian universities. In: Report to the review of higher education access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Commissioned for the Behrendt Review by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  18. Stewart J, Allan J (2013) Building relationships with Aboriginal people: a cultural mapping toolbox. Aust Soc Work 66(1):118–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Walter M (2011) Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander presence: opening knowledge pathways. In: Commissioned for the Behrendt review of Indigenous higher education by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Canberra. May 2011Google Scholar
  20. Walter M (2014) Indigeneity and citizenship in Australia. In: Isin EF, Nyers P (eds) Routledge handbook of global citizenship studies. Routledge, London, pp 557–567Google Scholar
  21. Walter M (2015) The race bind: how the denial of Australian Aboriginal Rights continues. In: Green J (ed) Indigenous human rights. Fernwood Press, Novia ScotiaGoogle Scholar
  22. Walter M, Butler K (2013) Teaching race to teach indigeneity. J Sociol 49(4):397–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Walter M, Robertson B (2009) Scoping an Indigenous centre of researcher development, Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  24. Walter M, Habibis D, Taylor S (2011) How White is Australian social work? Aust Soc Work 64(1):6–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Walter M, Maynard J, Nakata M, Milroy J (2008) Strengthening Indigenous research. In: Njapartji, Njapartji-Yerra: stronger futures, Report of the 2007. Indigenous Higher Education Council Conference. Adelaide. Commonwealth of Australia, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  26. Walter M, Taylor S, Habibis D (2012) Australian Social Work is White. In: Bennett B, Green S, Gilbert S, Bessarab D (eds) Our Voices: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Work. Palgrave Press, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  27. Wilson S (2008) Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Fernwood Press, HalifaxGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social SciencesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • George Sefa Dei
    • 1
  • Jean-Paul Restoule
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.OISE, University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult EducationOntario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Dept. of Indigenous EducationUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations