Building Knowledge Systems - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Building Knowledge Systems

Research theme 1

Building Knowledge Systems: In partnership with Indigenous, transcultural and international communities, our researchers seek to respectfully engage with and support the retrieval, retention, extension and further creation of First Nations, migrant, refugee, culturally diverse and international knowledge, building recognition and engagement with Indigenous, Southern, Eastern and other knowledge systems.

Projects

Our innovative, transdisciplinary research projects harness expertise at USC and beyond

2020

Walking to K’gari:  Indigenous memories of when Fraser Island was connected to the mainland

Project Synopsis

In collaboration with Indigenous groups, this project aims to identify whether stories exist that recall when it was possible to walk between mainland Australia and what are now offshore islands. Given that such stories have been found in other (about 25) coastal contexts around Australia but not yet in Southeast Queensland, this project will work with Badtjala (Butchulla) and Gubbi Gubbi peoples to identify whether such stories exist for K’gari (Fraser Island) and with Bayali and Darumbal peoples to identify stories for Curtis Island and the Keppel group.

Where such stories are found to exist, permission will be sought to record and publish these, together with estimates of the longevity of these stories derived from the history of postglacial sea-level change. Given that sea level reached its present level only about 7000 years ago, such stories are at least this old, something with wide-ranging implications for the understanding of the importance of oral traditions in Indigenous contexts in Australia and elsewhere.

Lead Organisation USC Australia
Project Dates 2020-2021
Funding $3000 (ITRC Seed Grant)
Chief Investigators

Dr Adrian McCallum, USC

Professor Patrick D. Nunn, USC

2019

Culturally Safe Pedagogy in Higher Education

Project Synopsis

The purpose of this project was to review existing frameworks and practices for embedding First Nations’ perspectives across a variety of education providers from both national and international contexts. This project explored how practices aligned to USC’s Framework for Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledges and Perspectives in Curriculum

The findings aimed to advance teaching and learning to effectively embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment practices across USC, and with the potential to expand to other societal institutions.

Lead Organisation USC Australia
Project Dates 2019-2020
Funding $3000 (ITRC Seed Grant)
Chief Investigators

Dr Sharon Louth, USC

Dr Amy Mortimer, USC

Natalie McMaster, USC

Dr Rachael Dwyer, USC

Dr Beverly Dann, USC

2018

Building Australia-China research capabilities for intercultural knowledge collaboration

Project Synopsis

This project will increase knowledge collaboration, educational connectivity and cultural engagement between Australia and China. It aims to improving the transcultural research capabilities of research supervisors and students in China and Australia. This project will create and trial five research-based modules on Chinese and Australian history and culture, multilingual knowledge co-construction, supervisory relationships and time mapping.

This multi-sited project will generate community energy through art exhibitions, which showcase time maps of supervisors’ and students’ intellectual trajectories in Sydney, Beijing and Changchun. A project website will be developed. Williams’, Bunda’s, Claxton’s and MacKinnon’s 2017 Indigenous Knowledge global decolonisation praxis approach will promote transformative learning experiences and draws upon Indigenous Knowledge principles of respect, relationality, reciprocity and responsiveness.

Lead Organisation

USC Australia

Project Dates

August 2018 to June 2020

Funding

$208,125 (cash and in-kind)

$30,000 DFAT Grant

Chief Investigators

 Professor Catherine Manathunga, USC

Dr Qi Jing, RMIT

 Professor Tracey Bunda, UQ and Ngugi/Wakka

2016

The 'university place': How and why place influences the engagement and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students

Project Synopsis

This project aimed to enhance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student engagement and retention in university study by understanding the impact of the ‘university place’. A case study approach was used involving two case universities and the use of mixed methods. Interviews and focus groups were used to collect data from Indigenous students, academic staff, and administrative, professional and technical staff, and surveys of Indigenous students and academic teaching staff.

Findings suggest that universities should understand that ‘university places’ are an intersection of Indigenous peoples’ social identities (as a student, as Indigenous, as an emerging professional). Several research outputs have resulted from this project including the Project E-booklet.

Lead Organisation

USC Australia

Project Dates

2016 to 2017

Funding

$40,000 (PELTHE Grant, Australian Government Department of Education and Training)

Chief Investigators

Professor Maria Raciti, USC and Kalkadoon-Thaniquith/Bwgcolman woman;

Professor Jennifer Carter, USC

Associate Professor Kathryn Gilbey, USQ and Alyawarre woman