I graduated from Deakin in 1995, and left for good in 1996. That was all, but I still remember it clearly and warmly, as a major formative experience for me, academically and otherwise. I spent four years there, in Geelong, as a postgraduate student, and I took from it far more than my research qualification. I arrived having completed recent undergraduate study by distance education, and with experience of working in two other universities as a casual tutor. I knew many of the staff through their writing, and was in awe of them ' an acolyte come to drink at the fountain of knowledge, and make myself over into an academic. That is, I wasn't (yet) an academic, I was a teacher. I was a practitioner, not a 'theorist' ' as I saw it, an intuitive thinker rather than a scholar ' and moreover already thirty-eight, and an adult with three small children. My teacherly credentials meant that I was anxious about my chances of making the grade in this new phase of my life. Looking back now, I see that the pathway bringing me to those white wooden buildings in the paddock on a Geelong hillside in 1991, had been found twenty-five years earlier, in a way that probably could not have taken me anywhere else. I was the Good Subject of socially critical theory, a working-class girl with a social conscience, liberated by my radical feminist sisters early in the 70s, with hairy legs and henna. As I see it now, I had long been conscientised, and that made me very amenable to being at Deakin, as an acknowledged and exemplary site of social justice in education.
|Title of host publication||Education, social justice and the legacy of Deakin University|
|Subtitle of host publication||Reflections of the Deakin diaspora|
|Editors||Richard Tinning, Karen Sirna|
|Place of Publication||Rotterdam, The Netherlands|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
Reid, J-A. (2011). Avenging Betty: Reflections of a Deakin (post)graduate. In R. Tinning, & K. Sirna (Eds.), Education, social justice and the legacy of Deakin University: Reflections of the Deakin diaspora (Vol. 76, pp. 135-146). Sense Publishers.