Racism and Resilience in Australian Aboriginal Graduates’ Experiences of Higher Education

By Jennifer Veldman and Andrew M. Guilfoyle.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Indigenous populace in Australia is vastly underrepresented in higher education, and many students leave before receiving their award (Bradley, Noonan, Nugent, & Scales, 2009). There is a need to understand the difficulties faced by Indigenous students and the factors that aid their participation. This study examined two case studies of Indigenous graduates’ resilience through an interpretative phenomenological lens. Data from in-depth interviews illuminated challenges faced by Indigenous students, discussed in terms of context-specific understanding of resilience and implications for Universities, generating of an inclusive community environment, assessing the relevancy of offered courses and increasing flexibility of higher education for Indigenous students.

Keywords: Theme: Learner Diversity and Identities, Resilience, Indigenous Students, Interpretative Phenomenology

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.107-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 430.805KB).

Jennifer Veldman

Master's Student, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Jennifer is a master's student with interests in qualitative research.

Dr Andrew M. Guilfoyle

Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Dr. Andrew Guilfoyle (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Social Science at Edith Cowan University. Andrew has published over 50 peer reviewed publications, completed several large scale national and regional funded projects and regularly presents this work at international forums. His research is focused on developing sustainable services for social inclusion of Indigenous communities and CaLD populations He works within a constructionist, participatory, locational, community based approach. His recent book chapter on Participation with Australian Aboriginal Communities (Elsevier Ltd: London) received an outstanding international review by Professor Ron Chenail, Editor of The Qualitative Report (http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/): “Participatory Action Research as Empowerment Evaluation: Andrew Guilfoyle, Juli Coffin, and Paul Maginn illustrate the utility and challenges of understanding and encouraging not only community involvement, but also community engagement in policy making and evaluation.”