Brilliant Minds: A Snapshot of Successful Indigenous Australian Doctoral Students

Michelle Trudgett*, Susan Page, Neil Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Drawing on demographic data collected from interviews with 50 Indigenous Australians with a doctoral qualification and 33 of their supervisors, this paper provides the first detailed picture of Indigenous doctoral education in Australia, with the focus on study modes, age of candidates, completion times and employment. It also analyses data produced through interviews with supervisors including age, employment levels and academic background. The study confronts a number of common perceptions in the higher education sector, to find that many Indigenous Australians are awarded their doctoral qualification in the middle stages of their career. This particular cohort is more likely to be studying in the arts and humanities, employed in higher education and enrolled on a full-time basis. This Australian Research Council (ARC) funded research provides new and important data to inform government policy, and to allow universities to implement strategies and recommendations arising from the Behrendt Report of 2012.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)70-79
    Number of pages10
    JournalThe Australian Journal of Indigenous education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


    • higher education
    • postgraduate
    • supervision


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