What do we know about remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community engagement in education settings?: Implications for strategy development in tertiary education

About the presentation

Genuine community engagement is heralded as an important process when engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in discussion about education. This has been repeatedly emphasised in numerous policy documents, particularly those relating to remote education contexts. Whilst it is broadly acknowledged that community engagement is best approached as a ‘bottom-up’ endeavour that is participatory and developmental in nature, there is relatively little information about what this looks and feels like in a practical sense. Evidence suggests that the physical, social, cultural, economic and political landscapes of remote Aboriginal communities differ markedly and that unique place-based approaches to community engagement are likely to work best. We argue that this understanding is important if community engagement practices are to be effectively implemented across the education continuum, including tertiary education settings. We also assert that community engagement practices that explicitly link early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education levels will better support improved education outcomes over the longer-term. This is important as each education sector is approaching the concept of community engagement in different ways. In this paper we draw on current academic scholarship, grey literature, government policies and reflections on recent experiences in the education system to explain what is currently known about good practice approaches to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community engagement. We will discuss the respective implications for future strategy development, particularly in relation to enhancing community engagement with remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through tertiary education settings.

29 November 2017

Team Member Reflection: Terry Moore

Team Member Reflection: Terry Moore

​I joined the team in April 2016, just in time for the team meeting at Tennant Creek, where it was realised that the team needed someone to analyse the data that was being generated across the different communities.

Charles Darwin UniversityAustralian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges & EducationBatchelor InstituteNAILSMANTG

© 2015 Charles Darwin University

Website created by Dash Media Darwin.