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PhD successes at Batchelor Graduation

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(l-r) PhD students Joe Fraser, Robyn Ober, Majon Williamson-Kefu

June is always an exciting time of the year, with many Indigenous students from all over the Territory, and in some instances across the country. This year we even have a Hawaii-based student. Students graduating from their various disciplines including health, media, early childhood, construction, land management and education. In the VET Sector there are a total of 188 graduands who will receive 192 qualifications.

The graduation ceremony is always spectacular with Graduands dressed in formal gowns forming a
parade led by traditional dancing by the White Cockatoo Dancers from Beswick.

Ms Pat Anderson AO, Chair of the Batchelor Institute Council said: “2019 is going to be particularly special with three students to be conferred with PhDs. In this the International Year of Indigenous Languages, Batchelor Institute is enormously proud to be awarding three Indigenous students PhDs in areas that bring together language, culture and education.

Batchelor congratulates Joe, Robyn and Majon on this massive achievement. Not only is it a moment
of great pride for Batchelor Institute, students and families, but it signals to all those who come after them
that it can be done!”

CEO Professor Steven Larkin stated: “Batchelor Institute is entering a new phase of development which is prioritises the setting and achieving of standards of excellence in Indigenous tertiary education. Having three Doctor of Philosophy candidates graduate today demonstrates this, as well as the Institute’s critical role in developing/producing Indigenous academic scholars who will become leaders in their chosen fields in the future”

PhD topics;
Joe Fraser – Phenomenology and Meaning: ‘Aina in Teaching and Learning-examines essential
structures of meaning that contribute to a Native Hawaiian philosophy of education. A philosophy of
education assists in developing and justifying decisions in education programs.
Robyn Ober – Doctoral research focused on ‘Aboriginal English as a Social and Cultural Identity
Marker in an Indigenous Tertiary Educational Context’.
Majon Williamson-Kefu – Doctoral research focused on enhancing the role of learning and teaching
around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content and perspectives in primary school classrooms
throughout Australia. Through her research, Majon developed a normalisation framework, which
outlines the need for three levels of change: classroom practice, teacher education and system
support structures.

Batchelor Institute provides a culturally safe learning environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people from all Australian states and territories. Students often speak of Batchelor Institute’s
“Both-ways” approach that brings together Indigenous Australian and western academic knowledges
in a way that embraces respect, tolerance and diversity.