Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2016 Archive

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Indigenous Research Collaboration Research Workshop


12 February 2016

The Indigenous Research Collaboration (IRC) Research Workshop is an annual event that brings together researchers from within the Sydney School of Education and Social work and across the university. It provides a forum to open up dialogue about issues and perspectives related to different areas of Indigenous research and offers researchers the opportunity to explore potential collaborations, build their individual knowledge and create shared understandings within the field.

The day will consist of four sessions in which there will be several presentations and group discussions focused on various areas of Indigenous research. Presenters will discuss findings from their current research projects and participants will have the opportunity to share their ideas and learn from the experiences of their colleagues and other researchers. Presentations will cover a range of areas including Indigenous Knowledges and perspectives, Indigenous education and curricula, representations of Aboriginality, policy research, data utilisation, and the role of universities in relation to social justice.


Acknowledgement of Country: Associate Professor John Evans
10–11.35amSession 1: presentations
Session chair: Associate Professor John Evans


Kevin Lowe
Standing their ground: Honouring Aboriginal standpoint to
effect teachers’ professional knowledge


Dr Cathie Burgess
‘Connecting to Country’ cultural immersion and
mentoring program


Annelise Guest
Ideology to Policy: How intentions to embed Indigenous
perspectives have sustained tokenism, simplistic
understandings and inadequate intellectual quality in
school curriculum



11.15–11.35amMORNING TEA
11.35am–12.50pmSession 2: presentations
Session chair: Dr Cathie Burgess


Associate Professor John Evans
The roots of Indigenous expertise in informal
games as children


Dr Lorraine Towers
The purposes of ‘Indigenous curricula’: culture, power
and knowledge over time


Dr Nicola Man
Utilisation of data on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

1.30–2.55pmSession 3: presentations
Session chair: Dr Cathie Burgess


Simon Jovanovic
Policy research on Federal Government and NSW
Government Aboriginal employment policies 1970–2016


Associate Professor Margot Rawsthorne
Aboriginal social justice: what is the role of universities?
Reflections from Glebe


Group discussion: Nurturing an Indigenous education
‘activist identity’
Facilitators: Katrina Thorpe and Dr Cathie Burgess

2.40–2.55pmAFTERNOON TEA
2.55–3.30pmSession 4: Plenary
Session chair: Associate Professor John Evans


Plenary: "Where to now?"
Facilitator: Dr Cathie Burgess

Event details

  • When: 9.30am–4pm

  • Where: The Darlington Centre conference room, 174 City Rd, Darlington
    The Darlington Centre
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: FREE but please RSVP because places are limited.

  • RSVP: RSVP by emailing Rebecca Rathbone before close of business on
    Friday, February 5.

  • Contact: Rebecca Rathbone
    Research Assistant, Sydney School of Education and Social Work

  • Speakers: Kevin Lowe is a Gubbi Gubbi man from Queensland. He has been a teacher, TAFE administrator, University lecturer, and Board of Studies Inspector (Aboriginal Education) in NSW,and has had extensive experience in schools, vocational education and universities. He has been actively involved in Aboriginal community organisations, language policy and curriculum development and implementation. Over the past 20 years his work has focused on establishing educational projects with Aboriginal communities, schools and education systems that centre on the development of effective school-community learning partnerships. He recently submitted doctoral thesis addressed community collaboration with schools from an Aboriginal community standpoint, and changing teachers’ professional knowledge.

    Dr Cathie Burgess is a senior lecturer in education at the University of Sydney. She has extensive experience as a secondary school teacher and education consultant. Her research and teaching areas include social justice education, teacher professional learning, and improving outcomes for Aboriginal students. She was chief investigator on the Connecting to Country, Connected Communities, Mandatory Indigenous Education university courses and a FESW research project, the development of teachers’ pedagogical cultural identity through cultural immersion. She is an Associate Life Member of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and President of the Aboriginal Studies Association NSW.

    Annelise Guest is a teacher and recent graduate of the University of Sydney with research interests in how Indigenous systems of knowledge can enhance students’ understandings of the spectrum of world literatures. Her experience in schools in both urban and rural settings has inspired thinking on the academic quality of units of work that focus on Indigenous literature. Her honours research focuses on the Indigenous component of the NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum.

    Associate Professor John Robert Evans is Professor of Indigenous Health Education in the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology Sydney. John has a background in elite sport as an athlete and coach and continues to work with elite coaches in Australia and New Zealand. John is a Chief Investigator on two Australian Research Council grants investigating the role of sport in Australian Indigenous communities. His previous research has focused on pedagogy in sport, Indigenous sport and the relationship between sport, health and education in Indigenous communities. John was a co-author of the book Advances in Rugby Coaching; An holistic approach published in 2015. He has also contributed a chapter called the nature and importance of coach-player relationships in the uptake of Game Sense by Elite Rugby in Australia and New Zealand in the book Contemporary Developments in Games Teaching.

    Dr Lorraine Towers is a lecturer in Indigenous Studies (history and education), and Comparative and International Education at the Sydney School of Education and Social Work. Her teaching and research is interdisciplinary and includes consideration of comparative and intercultural historical Indigenous school experience with a focus on policy, practice, subjectivity and Indigenous agency. This has led to a more theoretical interest in a critical appraisal of comparative studies and neo-liberal management of difference. She remains interested in African studies, including her study of Oromo schooling, identity and resistance in Ethiopia, the subject of her PhD and forthcoming book (2016 Palgrave MacMillan).

    Dr Nicola Man has been involved in the quantitative analysis of data in biological and medical fields since the start of her research career. This included her PhD research on dairy cattle genetics involving the analysis of administrative data records from more than 2 million dairy cattle in Australia, as well as statistical consultation work and HIV social and behavioural research in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW. She was a researcher that used large-scale population surveys and linked administrative data to investigate the prevalence of parents with intellectual disability and their families in Australia.

    Simon Jovanovic is a Visiting Fellow on the Sydney Social Justice Network Fellowship Program 2015 researching Aboriginal Employment Policy from a NSW and Federal Government perspective. Mr Jovanovic is visiting from NSW Family and Community Services (FACS), where he works as a principal project officer Aboriginal specialist. He holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in business management, human resources, adult education, social science, public sector management and workplace training and assessment. Mr Jovanovic’s work in FACS focuses on addressing Aboriginal disadvantage through: building effective partnerships; supporting whole-of-government coordination and consolidating delivery of Aboriginal programs; building strong leadership, governance and accountability mechanisms. He has held Aboriginal specialist positions across government, corporate sector, and Aboriginal community corporations.

    Associate Professor Margot Rawsthorne lectures in community development at the University of Sydney. She worked for 15 years in south western Sydney in non-government agencies. Her research focuses on the experience of inequality, particularly shaped by gender, location and sexuality. For the past decade she has led the University’s engagement with our neighbouring communities of Glebe and Camperdown, via the Glebe Community Development Project. She has a strong commitment to supporting the developing research capacity of the non-government sector. In recent years she has collaborated on a number of small research projects with agencies such as Liverpool Women's Health Centre, the Welfare Rights Centre and the P&C Federation of NSW. This research collaboration aims to ensure the relevance and usefulness of academic research and scholarship.

    Katrina Thorpe is a lecturer at the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. She has more than 15 years' experience in teaching Indigenous studies in higher education, with particular interests in antiracism and social-justice education, as well as quality teaching and learning in the evolving discipline of Indigenous studies. Katrina is a descendant of the Worimi people.

Indigenous Research Collaboration annual workshop

Where The Darlington Centre conference room, 174 City Rd, Darlington
The Darlington Centre
Click image for interactive map.


12 February 2016

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