21 July 2022

Aboriginal Education Futures

Schooling in settler colonial societies like Australia continues to produce unequal outcomes and as a mass system it is far from democratic. The United Nations General Assembly has declared the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the importance of Indigenous epistemologies, cultures and languages across the world and encourage action by governments and schools for their promotion and enactment.

Dr Tyson Yunkaporta and Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney will participate in a forum on Aboriginal Education Futures to help us to rethink education and shape its future in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity. Chaired by Professor Sam Sellar, this forum with address themes of schooling, social inclusion, Aboriginal epistemologies and Culturally Responsive Pedagogies.

Dr Tyson Yunkaporta belongs to the Apalech clan from western Cape York and is an Indigenous thinker and author currently living in Melbourne. He is the founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab at Deakin University, which applies Indigenous complexity science perspectives and methods to addressing global crises in governance, economics, climate, cybernetics, education and more. He graduated cum laude with a Doctorate in Education from James Cook University in 2009 and worked with Elders and young people all over Australia until 2017, when he joined the academy temporarily as a researcher and lecturer. He has no idea what he will do next, as long as it's at least 3000 kilometres north of Melbourne.

Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney is esteemed Professor of Education at  the University of South Australia. He is Distinguished Fellow at Deakin University and previous Distinguished Fellow at Kings College, London. In 2021 Professor Rigney was appointed member in the General Division (AM) for significant service to Indigenous Education and to social inclusion research. He is Co-chair of Pedagogies for Justice Research Group and member of the Centre for Research in Educational and Social Inclusion. He is a member of the Centro Loris Malaguzzi Scientific Committee, for the Foundation Reggio Emilia Children. One of Australia’s most respected Aboriginal educationalists. He is well published and has led several research teams funded by the Australian Research Council and other competitive grants including: Indigenist Research Epistemologies; Addressing the Gap between Policy and Implementation: Strategies for Improving Educational Outcomes of Indigenous Students; and Towards an Australian culturally responsive pedagogy.  Professor Rigney is a descendant of the Narungga, Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri peoples of South Australia

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