Are you a supervisor of choice for Indigenous Australians?


On the brink of National Reconciliation Week, this is an important question for Australian PhD supervisors of all colours and races. Do you:

  • highlight opportunities for your non-Indigenous students to increase awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures?
  • demonstrate your own ongoing learning about Australians’ shared and different histories?
  • include a range of Indigenous perspectives in all doctoral coursework units taught?
  • welcome or acknowledge country as appropriate, and discuss with students how they may do this too, including in their thesis documents?
  • share with students what you have learnt from your institution’s cultural awareness training?
  • actively seek recruitment of Indigenous students, for example through your awareness of scholarships and other supports?
  • ensure Indigenous Australians are represented in the visual and other media cultures of your university?
  • participate in the development and/or dissemination of your university’s reconciliation action plan?

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands where I work, and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. I also acknowledge Indigenous Australians involved in doctoral study, especially in the field of education, and hope to cross paths with you in the future. Read more about National Reconciliation Week here.


Author: Lucinda McKnight

Dr Lucinda McKnight is a lecturer in curriculum and pedagogy at Deakin University. She has a BA in Fine Arts, Women's Studies and English from the University of Melbourne, an MA (Distinction) in Media, Culture and Communication, from the Institute of Education now at UCL, and a PhD in Education from Deakin University. Her cartoons have appeared in a number of publications, including Farrago and Health Voice. She has exhibited her artwork at Museum Victoria and the Victorian College of the Arts.

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