Speaking up and speaking back to high school and post-school transition experiences: An Indigenised narratology exploring education for the life success of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living on Darumbal Country
thesisposted on 28.10.2019, 00:00 by Melinda MannMelinda Mann
This thesis tells a story of the lands belonging to the Darumbal people located in the coastal region of Central Queensland, Australia, through the lives of a select number of young people connected to the Country as either Traditional Custodians or as members of other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups who have relocated to this area. In particular, the research examines how ten young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced school and how they leveraged those experiences to transition into family and community roles as young leaders. The thesis concludes that participants actively pursued a process of ‘belonging and becoming’. School spaces were appropriated to facilitate their desire for ‘belongingness’ and skills, abilities and aspirations were developed consistent with the goal of ‘becoming’ the future of their families and communities. Their recent experiences of completing Year 12, working and studying on Darumbal country informed post-school pathways that are simultaneously professional and cultural by necessity. The findings illustrate the environment which young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people studying and working on Darumbal country have identified as valuable in their pursuit of belonging and becoming at the core of their identities. Whilst this research examines a very specific group of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a particular location the learnings from this study could offer an insight into other groups of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living on other Aboriginal and Torres Strait lands; and potentially extended to other First Nations’ people elsewhere.