After 'Iso': the digital future of Indigenous academic mobility

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In 2018 I commenced a full-time academic position in Sydney, New South Wales. Dharug Country, a 1,400-kilometre drive from my home, my family, and my community on Kaurna Country. I chose to embark upon a FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) arrangement for the foreseeable future. Flexibility from my family and my colleagues made this not-ideal arrangement workable. Three years later I have made many new friends, learned a lot about Dharug Nura, started building my career and have accumulated a considerable number of frequent flyer miles. This type of arrangement is not uncommon in academia, all but one of our full-time Indigenous department staff live outside of Sydney. However, much of the research into academic mobility and relocation has focussed on non-Indigenous experiences. As evidenced in the many innovations by members of the Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence, an international network of Indigenous academics, Indigenous academics are operating at the forefront of digital andragogy and research. As we begin to emerge from the lockdown imposed by coronavirus restrictions it is prudent to explore the possibilities for the future of academic work including working remotely and the affordances of digital communication technology. This paper, informed by a short-term autoethnographic reflection, will examine some of the specific social and cultural challenges and opportunities faced by Indigenous academics who travel frequently for academic employment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Global Indigeneity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021


  • digital media
  • Indigenous academics
  • digital futures
  • Indigenous studies


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