Issue #1 - 16 March 2022

BlakEd Submissions

All MGSE staff and students working on Indigenous-focused projects/initiatives or with resources to share are encouraged to contribute to the BlakEd newsletter.

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Message from the Assistant Dean Indigenous

Yaamagarra nindahlee and welcome back to what I anticipate will be the beginning of some very exciting years here at MGSE in regard to Indigenous education.  As shared at the Setting the Scene event held on the 4 March, there is a lot happening both in progressing the work of our Divisional Indigenous Development Plan [DIDP] and the Project.  We have begun working towards developing a Statement of Reconciliation and it was heartening to see so many staff present for the initial workshop held on the 28 February.  I extend an invitation to you all to become involved in this exciting and important initiative as we look to refresh our DIDP for 2023.

It is wonderful to see the students return and I hope to meet with the Indigenous students here at MGSE in the coming weeks to hear about their studies and goals.  It would be great to introduce the Indigenous Graduate Student space on Level 3 to the students and see that space being used.

The breadth and range of the types of contributions in this quarter’s edition of BlakED illustrates just how much activity and work is being done and with that in mind, I would just like to say, as the Assistant Dean (Indigenous), I am encouraged and further motivated by our staff’s enthusiasm and genuine interest in building our knowledge and understanding about Indigenous peoples, knowledges, histories and cultures.  Your collegiality and desire to effect change in education warms my heart so a big thank you to you all.

- Dr Melitta Hogarth

Dean's Lecture Series: Professor Marcia Langton AO

MGSE was honoured to have Professor Marcia Langton AO deliver a special Dean's Lecture in recognition of International Women's Day on Tuesday, 8 March. Marcia presented to an attentive audience the progress being achieved in Indigenous graduate student enrolments at the Go8 universities, particularly at the University of Melbourne. She emphasised that the data demonstrates improvement in the Closing the Gap indicator, which is rarely mentioned but is critical to the future of Indigenous Australia in terms of developing strong Indigenous leaders.

View Recording

First Nations in Education

The start of semester one brings about a new change in the ways we commit as educators with First Nations peoples, knowledges and pedagogies at MGSE. With the new MTeach in 2022 all first-year students across MGSE begin their studies in the new subject, First Nations in Education. First Nations in Education is designed to critically engage and challenge students to extend their understanding of First Nations students, knowledges and communities.

The first two weeks of teaching have been completed, engaging with the topics of Indigenous sovereignties and unceded land, and Settler Colonialism: the long con. Students and tutors have filled our learning environments with robust, thoughtful and critical conversations, lifting the veil on colonial injustices that have clouded Australian education and society since 1788.

First Nations in Education classes are delivered in both face-to face and in blended synchronous learning (BSL) modes. We would like to extend our thanks to Julia Doolah and Suzanne Kollaris for the support and assistance with the Blended Synchronous Learning support.

As subject coordinators we would like to extend our acknowledgements and thanks to all staff who are teaching into the subject and to the 29 MGSE staff who are auditing the subject so that we may seek feedback on this new and exciting direction taken by MGSE and build our capacity to think with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and ways of being; to be culturally responsive and inclusive educators within the work we do at MGSE.

We look forward to sharing further updates throughout the year on ways MGSE is engaged in processes of truthtelling and ‘coming alongside’ (Martin, 2016) as we acknowledge the ways education has silenced, dispossessed and contributed to the enclosure of Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing. In these processes, we understand that in this ‘acknowledgement, there is knowledge’ (Martin, 2016) for the directions we choose to pick up as we engage in processes of truthtelling that lead to dreaming new futures where all Australian educators benefit from decolonising practices.  

Martin, K. (2016). Voices & visions: Aboriginal early childhood education in Australia. New South Wales: Pademelon Press.

For more information, contact Jayson Cooper.

Commencing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in S1 2022

The MGSE Admissions and Recruitment teams are pleased to share that 24 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have been admitted in one of nine degrees at MGSE in Semester 1 2022. This cohort includes 17 students in the Graduate Certificate or Master in Social Change Leadership, and represents a 26% increase on admitted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Semester 1 2021.

Contact for more information.

Recruitment support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants

The MGSE Recruitment team has created a process map which outlines support for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students applying for MGSE courses. The team proactively contacts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants to encourage Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) applications detail student support options at the University. The team also offers one-on-one course advice appointments to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prospective student and applicants to personalise the University application experience and assist with course enquiries.

Contact Cody Moore for more information.

AFSE 2022 Fellowship commences

In February, 21 new Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity began their Fellowship year. They started the first subject of the Master and Graduate Certificate of Social Change Leadership - INDG90002 Enacting Influence - by focusing on the policy landscape of their Indigenous social change projects. You can meet all the Fellows here.

Liz McKinley, Nikki Moodie and the team are excited to be delivering the first in-person intensive for INDG90003 at the beginning of April and finally welcoming Fellows to Narrm!

For more information, contact Nikki Moodie.

Reading Climate

Indigenous literatures, school English and Sustainable Futures online symposium at Literary Education Lab

Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s Literary Education Lab in collaboration with Stella hosted an online symposium ‘Reading Climate’ on 20 January 2022. The innovative symposium brought into dialogue two of Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous authors: Ellen van Neervan and Tony Birch, and a leading geo-philosopher, Kathryn Yusoff to consider the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration centred on the literary arts in our rapidly changing climate.

Chaired by MGSE’s Sarah E. Truman, the panel raised important discussions about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander narratives provide new perspectives on interactions with Country, climate change, and livable futures, followed by responses from MGSE’s Larissa McLean Davies, and Sandra Phillips, Associate Dean of Indigenous Engagement at University of Queensland who discussed some of the affordances and challenges of teaching Indigenous literatures in school. The symposium was attended by 180 delegates from around the world, many of which are Australian secondary English teachers.

The symposium and other projects foregrounding Indigenous Literatures in Secondary English will be available on the Literary Education Lab website in the coming months.

For further information, contact Sarah E. Truman

It is Ours

Maiem (hello). I am the ‘nosik’ (descendant) of the Samsep-Meriam people, one of the eight clans of Mer in the Torres Strait. I am also the Lecturer in Indigenous Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE). This is our story.

During an early preparation meeting for the MTeach 2022, one of our staff members remarked to Dr. Melitta Hogarth that First Nations in Education (FNiE) is her course (well it is, she developed it) to which she responded, “it is ours”. Two weeks into FNiE Semester 1 teaching and coordinating, I now know what she meant by, “it is ours”. Those who have contributed so far (I will name a few later), I am sure they will agree with me that the experience is heartfelt because to contribute you need to make it your own - “it is ours.”

The benefit will not only be for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students but for all Australian students. After hearing the Dean’s Lecture given by Professor Marica Langton AO, two nights ago, I see how FNiE has, is and will be part of the goals of the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. It is ours and overall, our educational responsibility to all Australian students.

The effort of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous teaching staff is truly exceptional. It is a privilege to teach with them. It should be noted that FNiE is being delivered to ALL MTeach 2022 students meaning the cohort of Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Teacher Candidates are together, learning together.

I know I have a word limitation which prevents me from naming all the names even if I don’t name you, your contribution is much appreciated and valued.

I thank FNiE Deadly coordinator Dr. Melitta Hogarth and my fellow FNiE Course coordinators Dr. Catherine Hamm, Dr. Jayson Cooper and Dr. Jessica Gannaway. We meet once or sometimes more times every week to manage the tutoring, teaching and professional development tutor training for the First Nations in Education subject.

Thank you to Learning Designer Kate Mitchell for her work of the FNiE Canvas and Video Producer Luis Gaitan for the videos and podcast. We thank the teaching staff who are teaching into FNiE every week. Thank you, Justin Wilkey and Dr. Bonita Cabiles for your contributions in the FlexAP and development of the CANVAS modules.

For all who are auditing the FNiE subject and are planning to teach into FNiE next year, we thank you for your interest. Your contribution will become part of ‘our’ contribution to allow us together to empower “Teacher Candidates to meet their responsibilities as future classroom teachers to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.”

Dr. John Doolah, Deadly Coordinator
First Nations in Education

Indigenous History of the University Project

This project examines the relationship between Indigenous Australia and the University of Melbourne from 1853 until the present. In November 2019, the University held a research colloquium on Place and Indigenous Cultural Recognition. An outcome of which was an acknowledgement that the University’s histories are contested—that we needed to formally acknowledge our institutional and colonial past and our complicity with respect to eugenics and scientific racism. On this basis, and in order to meet our Advancing Melbourne and Reconciliation Action Plan commitments with respect to Place, the University has commissioned this project.

Visit the project website or contact Ross Jones for more information.

Decolonising Architectural Education

Friday 25 March 2022 at 6.00pm-8.30pm

Book Now

How can educators and designers begin to decolonise architectural education, particular the design studio environment, to create a new narrative of civic and community good? Architectural education is deeply implicated with processes of colonisation and the appropriation of Indigenous knowledge. How might architectural education and design studios be decolonised? Despite calls for inclusiveness, by non-Indigenous educators there is at the heart of many architecture and design histories, a focus on settler progress. Settler progress is often lurking in the plethora of narratives, histories and precedents in our design schools. The panel will bring together a diverse group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators and practitioners with the hope of truly decolonising design curricula. This panel will include architects, landscape architects, urban theorists, designers and artists actively working to decolonise design education.

This event forms part of the 2022 Melbourne School of Design (MSD) x Melbourne Design Week programme.

Book now, or visit the event page for further information.

Recent publications

Oxford Handbook of Indigenous Sociology

Gender, Epistemic Violence, and Indigenous Resistance - Moodie

This chapter provides an introduction to gendered differences in work, poverty, and violence experienced by Indigenous People and the limitations of sociology in explaining Indigenous Peoples continued dispossession and oppression. The chapter also provides an overview of the contribution of Indigenous feminisms and queer Indigenous studies to broader thinking on gender, coloniality, and First Nations sovereignty. Integral to this analysis is the colonial imposition of gender binaries and the gendered violence of settler-colonial societies, which is central to the formation of such states, their spatiotemporalities, and the ongoing oppression of Indigenous Peoples and our lifeworlds. Central to the focus of an Indigenous sociology of gender are myriad forms of resistance to epistemic violence, anchored in tradition and by normative systems, and essential for the maintenance and reinvention of Indigenous futures. This chapter provides an introduction to Indigenous scholarship on gender and sexuality, gendered structures of historic and contemporary violence toward Indigenous Peoples, and maps the resistance of gendered identities as fundamental to the resurgence of Indigenous lifeworlds.

Indigenous Women’s Voices: 20 Years on from Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies

Blak & Salty: reflections on violence and racism - Moodie, Menzel, Cameron, Moodie

In this chapter, we take up the critique of universities laid out by Smith in Decolonizing Methodologies, from our perspectives as Indigenous women engaging in Indigenous women’s business in the Australian university sector. We are spurred by questions that ask ‘what is Indigenous women’s business inside the academy?’, and provoked by situations and experiences that have manifest as lateral violence in higher education. Smith asserts that settlers (or outsiders) often view the issue of contestability or dispute in Indigenous communities—internal or external to universities—as proof that infighting is rampant. Smith also describes how some insiders to our communities tend to view many outcomes as driven by priorities set by academia and government, correctly noting the absence of culturally appropriate processes. We reflect on how we navigate these challenges, as Indigenous women who do Indigenous research in the white Australian academy. Yet we continue to question if we can, in a way that respects our cultural specificities as Indigenous women, as Gomeroi, as Darug, as Ngadjuri. The chapter concludes as we four Indigenous women bring our ideas together to support better processes regarding safe cultural spaces in the academy.

Colonization of all forms. Educational Philosophy and Theory, [online] - Stewart, G., Hogarth, M., Sturm, S., & Martin, B. (2022).

…Here, in response to the keynote of Melitta Hogarth in the PESA 2021 online conference (PESA, 2021), we address ‘colonization’ as an antecedent concept that calls into being the identity concept of the ‘Indigenous’ (Stewart, 2018). Our title bears a double meaning, referring both to the many levels and processes of colonization and to the myriad forms of life, human and more-than-human, affected by colonization in the world today. We consider how colonization operates in its many guises and on its various targets, from the biological, to the economic, to the linguistic, to the philosophical. All these processes of colonization play a part in understanding what is at stake in identifying as Indigenous today. It is impossible fully to account for the contemporary sociopolitical situation in nation-states such as Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand without the concept of colonization in its sociocultural sense (Ferro, 1997). Europeans came as ‘explorers’ and ‘settlers’ to these lands to pursue their social and economic interests. If Indigenous peoples impeded those interests, they were forcibly moved or otherwise eliminated by whatever means necessary (Moorehead, 1968)…

Can we keep up with the aspirations of Indigenous education? - Vass, G. & Hogarth, M. (2022). Critical Studies in Education, 63(1), 1-14.

This Special Issue for Critical Studies in Education has arisen from the growing scholarly work and contributions of academics working towards addressing the inequities in Indigenous education. It aims to highlight the work of colleagues who are actively working to privilege Indigenous ways of working and/or recognising the resilience of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of education. Our selections for this Special Issue also aim to speak to the rights based agenda articulated in the Coolangatta Statement on Indigenous peoples’ rights in education [from here on referred to as the Coolangatta Statement] (Morgan, West, Nakata, Hall, Swisher, Ahenakew, Hughes, Ka’ai & Blair, 1999), a product of the work of global Indigenous educators engaged in the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples in Education (WIPCE). Since its inception some 30 years ago, WIPCE has become one of the major conference events drawing together Indigenous education experts, scholars, students and communities to share the successes and strategies in the provision of education for Indigenous peoples.…The current pandemic we all face has had political discourses espousing to emerging into a ‘new normal’ where there is an expectation of things being different. The Coolangatta Statement’s principles, despite being ratified two decades ago still remain relevant, as they articulate, the aspirations of Indigenous peoples for Indigenous education. The authors in this Special Issue attend to these statements by acting on the inspiration and motivation necessitating the sharing of our strategies for change. We are still working towards change but, can we keep up with the aspirations of Indigenous education?

The musings of an Aboriginal researcher: Disrupting the thesis template - Hogarth, M.  (2021). Australian Educational Researcher. [online]

The thesis template is a guiding document for higher degree researchers to assist their transition into research. But what happens when the template does not mirror your ways of knowing, being and doing? How do we speak back to an institutionalized structure that advocates support and yet, feels like a Boa constrictor squeezing you into conformity? If Indigenous people are to undertake the challenge of higher degree research for such an extended length of time, it needs to be a reflection of us, does not it? In this paper, I share a selection of stories and insights to illustrate the struggles with the chasms of identity and dominant social norms. I provide insight to the waves of achievement and the troughs of isolation as a PhD candidate. This paper aims to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HDR students to further take up the challenge to disrupt the thesis and to challenge the institutional structures so that the thesis can start reflecting our voices rather than making us fit the ‘box’.

BlakEd Submissions

All MGSE staff and students working on Indigenous-focused projects/initiatives or with resources to share are encouraged to contribute to the BlakEd newsletter.

Submit an item