University-qualified Indigenous early childhood teachers: voices of resilience

Alma Fleet, Ros Kitson, Bevan Cassady, Ross Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Demonstrating persistence and resilience, increasing numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood teachers are gaining university qualifications. This paper explores factors that support and constrain these students on the path to their degrees. Investigated through a cycle of interviews and focus groups, otherwise perceived as taking time to chat and yarn, the data speaks through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices. Graduates from a cohort- specific three-year degree program, and several of their colleagues from an earlier program, share their reflections. The importance of family, community and infrastructure support is apparent, as well as recognition of complexities of 'both ways' learning and cultural boundary crossing. Highlighting salient factors is critical in efforts to create and maintain conditions in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can gain university qualifications and extend their professional contributions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Early Childhood
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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