Holding space for an Aboriginal approach towards Curriculum Reconciliation in an Australian university

Publication Name

Teaching in Higher Education


Since Universities Australia’s Indigenous Strategy recommended a sector-wide approach to ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, universities have grappled with how to do this. Resisting mainstream approaches to curriculum development that eschew any kind of relational accountability (Wilson, Shawn. 2008. Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Manitoba: Fernwood Publishing) requires entering difficult relations of power and occupying space to transform the act of curriculum development itself. This paper is the second in a series understanding Jindaola, a programme led by a Local Aboriginal Knowledge Holder within one Australian university. It ‘hacks’ the curriculum development space with staff through Aboriginal way towards Curriculum Reconciliation, building knowledge-based relationships between disciplinary and relevant Aboriginal Knowledge. We deliberately and controversially enact this type of relationship, by temporarily bringing the Foucauldian lens of ‘heterotopia’, and interview data from 30 participants, to describe how Jindaola usurps the neocolonial remit to embed Indigenous Knowledge, and creates and holds a counter-hegemonic space to decolonise curriculum development.

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