Investigating the State of Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Southern Queensland

Masters Thesis


Waters, Joshua. 2023. Investigating the State of Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Southern Queensland. Masters Thesis Masters of Professional Studies (Research). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/z3vwq
Title

Investigating the State of Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Southern Queensland

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorsWaters, Joshua
Supervisor
1. FirstA/Pr Renee Desmarchelier
2. SecondProf Karen Trimmer
3. ThirdMarcus Waters
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMasters of Professional Studies (Research)
Number of Pages199
Year2023
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/z3vwq
Abstract

Many Australian Universities have begun exploring the use of Indigenous Knowledges and how they apply in various industries and educational settings. This may become increasingly vital as social, political, and environmental systems all around the world become subject to rapid decline. The University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) is verging upon a new chapter of teaching, learning, education, and research, and therefore it is critical to examine the past and current framing of Indigenous Knowledges within the institution. The aim of this is to gain an accurate understanding of its place and position, and to pave exciting and innovative ways forward. This study sought to determine the current state of Indigenous Knowledges within the University of Southern Queensland using one-on-one qualitative interviews or ‘yarns’ with UniSQ Indigenous academics. The findings suggest that, since the 1980s, several ways of including Indigenous peoples, histories, languages, and cultures within the University have been tried with varying levels of success, and Indigenous student support initiatives and study programs have taken various forms over that time. Previously, Indigenous Knowledges were reduced to a series of artefacts on display in a glass cabinet, signifying a static culture. Today, Indigenous Knowledges is a dynamic talking point within the institution, albeit in mild, inadvertent, or arbitrary ways. Most of the work in the space of Indigenous Knowledges within the University is covert, rather than overt, with much work to be done to ensure that Indigenous Knowledges are appropriately classified, included, respected, and protected in current efforts across the institution. These ongoing efforts to raise the profile of Indigenous Knowledges should be supported by a set agenda or clearly articulated goal for identifying what Indigenous Knowledge is, how it is defined, who can use it, when, and in what ways within Schools and departments. It is anticipated that this study will provide further support in generating new ideas and discussion points into how UniSQ can answer those questions, with the overall aim of continuing the dynamic use and expression of Indigenous Knowledges, while contemporaneously bringing ideas out from behind the glass cabinet and embedding them into the everyday life of the institution. A series of recommendations has been provided for further exploration and capacity-building, and for supporting broader inclusion of Indigenous Knowledges in all areas of the curriculum.

KeywordsIndigenous education; Indigenous knowledge; education administration
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 20204502. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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