Batchelor Institute » Robyn Ober
default logo

Robyn Ober

IRC Fellow

Aboriginal English, Identity & Culture, Both-ways, Indigenous tertiary education

  • Name: Robyn Ober
    Position: IRC Fellow
    Research focus: Aboriginal English, Identity & Culture, Both-ways, Indigenous tertiary education

    Phone: +61 8 8946 6246
    Qualifications: MAPPLI (Charles Darwin University) GCIK (Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education) BA.Ed (Deakin University)
  • Robyn Ober is a Mamu/Djirribal woman from Innisfail who has had a 30-year association with Batchelor Institute. She is currently a Doctoral Fellow under the Institute’s Indigenous Research Collaborations program.


    Robyn is a lead researcher at Batchelor Institute who has published in the areas of:
    • Aboriginal English
    • Identity and Culture
    • Both-ways
    • Indigenous tertiary education
    Robyn has extensive teaching experience and has been involved in award-winning Indigenous higher education and vocational education training. Her research has included Indigenous educational leadership and both-ways teaching and learning, and her research outcomes have been presented at national conferences and in research journals. Robyn has been at the front line in the development of both-ways pedagogy, in working to combine Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of knowing, being and learning in teaching practice and in research. Her current doctoral research investigates identity and culture expressed in Aboriginal English.


    • 2012 – current Indigenous Research Collaboration Doctoral Fellow, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
    • 2008 - Living the Vision - Academic Staff Award
    • 2003 - BI – Teaching in Excellence (VET) Award


    2012 – Present IRC – Research Fellow Batchelor Institute
    2006 – 2012 Indigenous Academic Researcher – Batchelor Institute
    • Course Co-ordinator and lecturer – GCIE
    • Lecturer – GCIK/MIK
    • Executive Officer – IREC
    1997 – 2006 Lecturer B School of Education Studies
    • Diploma of Teaching (Primary/Early Childhood)
    • Advanced Diploma of Teaching (Primary/Early Childhood)
    • Bachelor of Teaching (Primary)
    • Bachelor of Education (Primary)
    • VET Certificate III (IEW) Darwin/Nguiu program
    2003 – 2005 Associate Lecturer, Media & Communication, Queensland University of Technology
    1996 Lecturer B (HDA) Stage 4 Teacher Education program
    1995 - 1996 Graduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics course. 12 Months study leave.
    1992 - 1995 Lecturer A – Stage 2 Teacher Education program
    1991 - 1992 Lecturer A – Stage 1 Teacher Education program
    1989 - 1991 Primary School Teacher (Murri School) Brisbane
    1988 - 1989 Primary School Teacher (Clyde Fenton School) Katherine NT
    1987 - 1988 Primary School Teacher (Gunbalanya School) NT
    1986 - 1987 Teacher Education Studies (D-BATE program)
    1983 - 1985 Teacher Education Studies (Batchelor College)
    1982 Aboriginal Education Liaison Officer (Good Counsel School) Innisfail
    1981 Library Assistant (Good Counsel Primary School) Innisfail, Queensland


    Research Committee

    The Role of Aboriginal English as a Cultural & Identity Marker in Both-ways Tertiary Educational Context


    Ober, R, Bell, J (2012) English Language as Juggernaut – Aboriginal English and Indigenous Languages in Australia. In English Language as Hydra: Its Impacts on Non-English Language Cultures edited by Vaughan Rapatahana, Pauline Bunce
    White, N, Ober, R, Frawley, J & Bat, M (2009) Intercultural Leadership: Strengthening leadership capabilities for Indigenous education. In: Australian Leadership Today. Australian Acad emic Press, Bowen Hills, pp. 85-103. ISBN 9781921513336
    D'Arbon, T, Fasoli, L, Frawley, J and Ober, R (2009) Linking Worlds: Strengthening the leadership capacity of Indigenous educational leaders in remote education settings. Batchelor Press, Batchelor, NT, Darwin, NT. ISBN 978-1-74131-170-9


    D'Arbon, T & Ober, R (2010) The Institutional Leadership Paradigm Project: An Implementation Methodology. Ngoonjook: a Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 34. pp. 24-36. ISSN 1039-8236
    Frawley, J, Fasoli, L, D'Arbon, T & Ober, R (2010) The Linking Worlds Research Project: Identifying intercultural educational leadership capabilities. Leading and Managing: Journal of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 16 (1). pp. 1-15. ISSN 1329-4539
    Fasoli, L, Ober, R, Fraser, J, Frawley, J, White, Ne, D'Arbon, T, Ralph, K, Ottman, J, Bunda, T, Miller, J, Jones Different Cloud, L & Pence, A (2009) Exploring an Institutional Leadership Paradigm for Indigenous Staff and Students. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, 12 (1-4). pp. 269-277. ISSN 1440-5202
    Ober, R (2009) Both-ways: Learning from yesterday, celebrating today, strengthening tomorrow. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 38 Supplement. pp. 34-39. ISSN 1326-0111
    Ober, R & Fasoli, L (2008) Indigenous researchers reflect at the Indigenous Research Forum. Ngoonjook: Journal of Australian Indigenous issues (32). pp. 95-98. ISSN 1039-8236
    Ober, R & Bat, M (2008) Paper 2: Both-ways: the practice. Ngoonjook: Journal of Indigenous issues (32). pp. 56-79. ISSN 1039-8236
    Ober, R & Bat, M (2008) Paper 3, Both-Ways: Self-empowerment: researching in a both-ways framework. Ngoonjook: Journal of Australian Indigenous issues (33). pp. 43-52. ISSN 1039-8236
    Ober, R & Bat, M (2007) Paper 1: Both-ways: the philosophy. Ngoonjook: Journal of Australian Indigenous issues (31). pp. 64-86. ISSN 1039-8236
    Ober, R (2004) Reflections on both-ways at Batchelor Institute. BiiteN Newsletter: Reflections by Educators, 13. pp. 8-9.


    An Institutional Leadership Paradigm: Transforming practices, structures and conditions in Indigenous higher education
    Principal Investigators: Dr Lyn Fasoli , Dr Jack Frawley (Australian Catholic University)

    Funded through a Leadership for Excellence, Carrick Institute (now Office of Learning and Teaching– OLT) grant ($200,000). The project aims to strengthen institutional leadership capacity to develop and deliver culturally appropriate and relevant Indigenous teaching and learning programs within the participant institutes. This strengthened capacity will encourage academics, students and administrators to change and transform institutional leadership practices, structures and conditions so they can more effectively, advance excellence in Indigenous teaching and learning, generate new knowledge, and serve the community. Participant institutes are Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education as lead partner with Australian Catholic University (ACU National), and invited Australian (6) and international institutions (3).
    Australian Research Council (ARC) LP0561753 Linking Worlds: Strengthening the Leadership Capacity of Indigenous Educational Leaders in Remote Education Settings
    Chief Investigators: Professor Tony d’Arbon (Australian Catholic University), Associate Professor Lyn Fasoli & APDI, Dr Jack Frawley (Australian Catholic University)

    This is a three-year ARC funded project. It is the first in-depth investigation of Indigenous educational leadership in remote settings and aims to frame the unique ‘worlds’ within which Indigenous educational leaders operate, and to determine the skills, knowledge and attributes required to be an effective leader. The project will produce a practice based leadership model for the professional development and learning of current and potential Indigenous educational leaders. ACU is the lead partner in this collaboration.
    Batchelor Institute (IRG) Both-Ways in Action
    Duration: 2011-2012

    Principal Researchers: Robyn Ober & Noressa Bulsey (BI) The Both-ways in Action project was funded through the Batchelor Institute Internal Research Grant (2011). Batchelor Institute Indigenous researchers, Robyn Ober and Noressa Bulsey carried out the project with BIITE staff and students over the 12 months period 2011 -2012. This project was a continuation of previous research carried out by Ober & Bat 2006-2007 on the ‘Defining Both-Ways’ project. The purpose of the BWIA project was to incorporate staff and students own conceptual understandings of the both-ways philosophy and its implementation in their own teaching and learning contexts.