Research Interests: Indigenous education; Youth studies; Alternative schooling

Researcher biography

I am an Aboriginal educator and researcher. My maternal connections are to Wagiman country (Northern Territory) and I also have strong connections to Aboriginal communities in South East Queensland where I was born and raised. I have a diverse professional background prior to my training as a researcher. I have worked in the community sector as a youth worker, in higher education in various project and student support roles and as a classroom teacher in secondary schooling and tertiary contexts. I am a qualified and QLD registered secondary classroom teacher and I have experience teaching in flexi schools, which support young people who have been disenfranchised from mainstream schooling contexts. All of my work to date has been underpinned by principles of equity and social justice and informed by strengths based approaches.

I am a qualitative researcher, my research to date has primarily been with Indigenous peoples across urban, regional and remote communities, particularly in diverse school settings. I have published in a wide range of journals and books on topics such as Indigenous education, flexi schools, Indigenous education policy and Indigenous research ethics and methodologies.

My current funded research includes an ARC linkage investigating the significance of stories for Aboriginal young people from remote communities in narrating their experiences of life after school; a project that explores what excellent provision of education is in Indigenous education in Queensland secondary schools (funded by UQ and Edmund Rice Education Australia); an Associate Investigator on an ARC Centre of Excellence 'The Digital Child' (centre is based at QUT) and I am lead CI and DAATSIA fellow on an Indigenous Discovery 2021 'Co-designing Indigenous education policy in Queensland'.

I am particularly interested in, and committed to, undertaking research that results in policy and practice impact. Some of the non-traditional outputs from our CRC project on Indigenous youth identity and wellbeing, include clothing items designed by young people, posters and rap songs with film clips. These non-traditional and creative outputs by young people form part of our data set but they also assist in engaging communities, academics, policy makers and other end users in the research through sharing the powerful messages Indigenous young people shared throughout participating in the study. I am also a member of the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training Advisory Committee (QATSIETAC), a ministerial advisory committee that provides advice to the Department of Education Queensland on implementing Indigenous education policy throughout the state.