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Deciphering distance: Exploring how Indigenous boarding schools facilitate and maintain relationships with remote families and communities

conference contribution
posted on 2019-01-30, 00:00 authored by Tessa BenvenisteTessa Benveniste, J Guenther, Sophia Rainbird, Drew DawsonDrew Dawson
Remote Australian education remains complex. Boarding schools in regional or metropolitan areas have long been an option that provides remote students with access to opportunities available in a mainstream setting. Recently, media and policy focus on Indigenous boarding programs has increased dramatically, yet academic research on the experiences of boarding school on remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students, families and communities is scarce. Insight from those most closely affected by boarding is valuable and necessary to inform future policy and practice. This paper presents preliminary analysis of a subsection from the author’s broader doctoral research based on an Aboriginal Residential program. It considers the ways that the program communicates and interacts with the families and communities of students. Thematic analysis of qualitative, semi-structured interviews with staff and parents suggests that successful strategies are currently in place to bridge the gap between community and boarding life, however effective two-way communication and two-way learning could be further enhanced.


Category 4 - CRC Research Income


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Fremantle, WA


Australian Association for Research in Education

Place of Publication

Fremantle, WA

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • Yes

Cultural Warning

This research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.

External Author Affiliations

Flinders University; Darwin Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation

Author Research Institute

  • Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Australian Association for Research in Education Conference (AARE 2015)