Confirmation of Candidature - Sam Dilly

Negotiating Permanent Limbo while Reframing the Role of the Educator: How has the teaching profession in Australian schools responded to recent immigration policies for people seeking asylum?


In recent years, Australia has introduced immigration policies that impose harsh penalties on people seeking asylum. In December 2014, the Australian government re-established its federal policies of temporary protection for people seeking asylum, leaving them ‘in a perpetual state of uncertainty’ (Crock & Bones, 2015). Schools, teachers and support workers have already had to adapt strategies, protocols and services to cater for students who are currently seeking asylum. In fact, these policies have prompted several educators across Australia to publicly speak out in resistance to current asylum seeker policies (Cook, 2016; Harris, 2016; McIlroy, 2016; Small, 2015). This study will explore the ways that the Australian Border Force Act (BFA) and its associated policies are not only violating human rights but are impacting significantly on Australian school communities. Specifically, this study will aim to identify the ‘mechanisms’ that schools and teachers have employed to assist refugees and people seeking asylum. In addition, it aims to identify and analyse ‘moments of disruption’ where teachers and schools across Australia have responded with compassion towards their students who are seeking asylum. It will utilise Michel Foucault’s notion of governmentality to frame Australia’s immigration laws for people seeking asylum. Foucault’s concept of ‘parrhesia’ or ‘fearless speech’ will be used to underpin instances in which educators have been outspoken against harsh and restrictive laws. In addition, this study will use William’s (2008) concepts surrounding compassion for social justice to analyse the educators’ responses to people seeking asylum.

Date       Tuesday 11 July 2017

Time       11:30am to 1:00pm

Location   Room S303

Location   Social Science Building 24  St Lucia Campus


PANEL:  Dr Ravinder Sidhu (Chair) and Dr Sue Creagh

Principal Advisor: Dr Christina Gowlett and Dr Carmen Mills 

About HDR Confirmation Seminars

The Confirmation Seminar is the first public presentation in the UQ milestone process.

Staff and students are urged to attend to support your colleagues at this first outing of their project.