Systemic racism, a prime minister, and the remote Australian school system
Graphic: ”Throwback,” Ink and Acrylic on Canvas by LaurynMB
PDF

Keywords

Remote schools
Indigenous Australians
Racism
Politics
Policy implications
Ethnographic reflection

How to Cite

Cornelius, K., & Cornelius-Bell, A. (2022). Systemic racism, a prime minister, and the remote Australian school system. Radical Teacher, 122, 64–73. https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2022.935

Abstract

Remote Australian schools face complex contextual issues due to systemic and enduring disadvantage. The structures and systems put in place to support and provide advantage for Indigenous Australians continually fail to meet their mark due to colonial structures, policies and inability to understand remote contextual demands. In South Australia, the context of this paper, systemic disadvantage disproportionately affects Indigenous people. This article explores the contemporary colonial landscape of a remote school context, provides background on the colonial institutions which shape the interactions and services provided to people in remote Australian areas, and provides two empirical examples of the contemporary, structural, and harmful influence of policy and political figures in a remote school. By examining the politics of being a school leader, the policy background for remote Australian schools, and the unique challenges of position both in policy and physical terms, we show how contemporary racism structures and conditions the lives of young people in remote contexts today.

https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2022.935
PDF

References

Government of South Australia (2019a). Quality school improvement planning handbook. Adelaide, South Australia.
Government of South Australia (2019b). Raising Aboriginal Learner Achievement: Literacy and numeracy, a leaders’ resource for quality school improvement planning. Retrieved from Adelaide, South Australia: https://dlb.sa.edu.au/tlsmoodle/pluginfile.php/33197/mod_resource/content/2/Aboriginal-learner-achievement-leaders-resource.pdf
Bennett, B., Zubrzycki, J., & Bacon, V. (2011). What do we know? The experiences of social workers working alongside Aboriginal people. Australian Social Work, 64(1), 20-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2010.511677
Coory, M. D., Ho, T., & Jordan, S. J. (2013). Australia is continuing to make progress against cancer, but the regional and remote disadvantage remains. Medical Journal of Australia, 199(9), 605-608.
Cornelius-Bell, A., & Bell, P. A. (2020). Partnership as Student Power: Democracy and governance in a neoliberal university. Radical Teacher, 118(1), 21 – 30. https://doi.org/10.5195/rt.2020.797
Daniels-Mayes, S. (2017). Repurposing schooling for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander students, families and communities: Revealing the hidden purpose of education. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Australia Conference, Canberra, Australia.
Department for Education, Government of South Australia (2018). School Improvement Handbook: Building Foundations, Literacy. Adelaide, South Australia.
Dudgeon, P., Milroy, H., & Walker, R. (2014). Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice. Commonwealth of Australia.
Durey, A., & Thompson, S. C. (2012). Reducing the health disparities of Indigenous Australians: time to change focus. BMC Health Services Research, 12(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-12-151
Fogarty, W., Lovell, M., Langenberg, J., & Heron, M.-J. (2018). Deficit discourse and strengths-based approaches: changing the narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing. Retrieved from New South Wales, Australia: https://www.lowitja.org.au/content/Document/Lowitja-Publishing/deficit-discourse-strengths-based.pdf
Gething, L. (1997). Sources of double disadvantage for people with disabilities living in remote and rural areas of New South Wales, Australia. Disability & Society, 12(4), 513-531.
Green, S., & Baldry, E. (2008). Building indigenous Australian social work. Australian Social Work, 61(4), 389-402. https://doi.org/10.1080/03124070802430718
Guenther, J. (2013a). Are we making education count in remote Australian communities or just counting education? The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42(2), 157-170. https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2013.23
Guenther, J. (2013b). Education is the key, but do we need to change the locks. Paper presented at the NARU Public Seminar Series.
Guenther, J., Disbray, S., & Osborne, S. (2014). Digging up the (red) dirt on education: one shovel at a time. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues (Special Edition), 17(4), 40-56. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/informit.230322176349062
Guenther, J., & Ober, R. (2017). Submission to the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education. Retrieved from Northern Territory, Australia: https://www.dese.gov.au/quality-schools-package/independent-review-regional-rural-and-remote-education
Holderhead, S. (2018, September 10). Tony Abbott given ‘free reign’ in new role as special envoy tasked with improving indigenous education. The Advertiser. https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/tony-abbott-given-free-reign-in-new-role-as-special-envoy-tasked-with-improving-indigenous-education/news-story/fe6a203c4bb1e06453599a091316c1ec
Hunter, E. (2007). Disadvantage and discontent: A review of issues relevant to the mental health of rural and remote Indigenous Australians. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 15(2), 88-93.
Jennings, W., Bond, C., & Hill, P. S. (2018). The power of talk and power in talk: a systematic review of Indigenous narratives of culturally safe healthcare communication. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 24(2), 109-115.
Read, P. (2020). A Rape of the Soul So Profound: The return of the Stolen Generation. Routledge.
Schaffer, K. (2002). Stolen Generation Narratives in Local and Global Contexts. Antipodes, 16(1), 5–10.
Stanley, J., Tomison, A. M., & Pocock, J. (2003). Child abuse and neglect in Indigenous Australian communities: Australian Institute of Family Studies Canberra.
Terszak, M. (2015). Orphaned by the Colour of My Skin: A Stolen Generation Story. Routledge.
Tregenza, J. (1996). Collegiate School of St. Peter, Adelaide: The founding years 1847 - 1878. Collegiate School of St. Peter.


Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

1.  The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.

2.  Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.

3. The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site; with the understanding that the above condition can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.

4. The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

5. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a pre-publication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.


6. Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.


7. The Author represents and warrants that:

     the Work is the Author’s original work;
     the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
     the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
     the Work has not previously been published;
     the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
     the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
 
8. The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.