ONE FOOT IN BOTH WORLDS: Providing a City Education for Indigenous Australian Children from a Very Remote Community - A Case Study

Erin Hunter

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The research conducted for this study investigates the Indigenous education program that links Sandstone School*, a remote Indigenous school in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory, with two Sydney schools* which are providing the education for selected secondary students from Sandstone*. For most remote Indigenous children, the educational options are limited. While primary education is often available at remote schools like the school that is located in Sandstone, this education is often provided by Indigenous teachers who, themselves, have poor English, so the education that is given to the children does not necessarily prepare the children for the literacy requirements of secondary schooling. Other factors also contribute to the poor standard of primary education that remote Indigenous children receive.In order to gain a secondary education, remote Indigenous children in the Northern Territory have to leave home to attend school, as boarders, in either Alice Springs or Darwin. Of the high school students who have left Sandstone school to live at schools in Alice Springs or Darwin over the forty years of the School''s existence, only one student has completed Year 12. He did not proceed to university. In 2007 and 2008, I taught in Sandstone School. In the latter half of 2008, I established a relationship with two schools in Sydney which agreed to educate students from Sandstone. In 2009, when I returned to Sydney, the Indigenous girls lived with me, and attended City Girls'' School*; the boys were boarders at City Boys'' School*.This research, therefore, will case study the program that provides secondary education, in Sydney, for Indigenous children from Sandstone School, to determine whether this model is a possible way forward for Indigenous students from other remote areas of Australia. The case study, One Foot in Both Worlds, investigates the education of Indigenous students in a western context through a program that does not compromise their culture or language. (*For the purposes of this research, the name of the Indigenous school and its associated community, and the names of the two Sydney schools have been changed.)
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Reid, Jo-Anne, Principal Supervisor
Award date01 Oct 2014
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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