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Networking Tranby: Indigenous Student Experiences of Enrolment and Beyond.

Tranby Aboriginal College is Australia’s oldest, independent Indigenous education provider, and is a function of the Co-operative for Aborigines Limited. A not-for-profit organisation established in 1958, Tranby delivers VET accredited courses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from across Australia, in an environment that supports Aboriginal ways of learning. The College has been a pioneer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult education, training and social action for over 50 years.

In collaboration with Tranby College, UTS researchers Prof. Heather Goodall and Dr Heidi Norman seek to better understand the experiences of students during and after their Tranby enrolments. Their research project will utilise social media and the Tranby archives to record new oral histories, under ethically appropriate conditions, allowing analysis of students’ social, political and educational experiences, and their contribution to Indigenous self-determination and leadership.

The project includes two funded student research scholarshipsto work with the research team on a chosen research topic within the scope of the project. On offer are two PhD scholarships APA rate: $25,849 per annum (minimum) for three years. Students would be expected to: (i) undertake an investigation into a field related and contributing to the overall analysis of the project, (ii) assist with one or other of the major areas of data development (either archival organisation or oral history collection), and/or (iii) participate in all project workshops and conferences and contribute an article to at least one of the joint project publications.

The Project Focus is to develop a body of resources to understand the experiences of Indigenous students at Tranby, either in courses at the Glebe site or in courses run in any other locations. This will include (i) an oral history database, and (ii) a searchable digital database of the demographic information on enrolment, allowing an identification of places of origin, places of study and later places of employment or residence.

The project is interested particularly in Doctoral thesis topics in any of the following areas: (i) Indigenous Community Organisation archives: the ethics and politics of accessibility for research, with reference to international as well as national experience and possible future engagement, (ii) An investigation of how Indigenous Community Organisational Archives can be utilised to develop historical narratives, (iii) The role of networking related to Tranby in student experiences while enrolled and in their later careers, (iv) A history of post-secondary Aboriginal Adult Education, 1970 to 2010, and (v) The role of cooperatives in Indigenous organisations both in Australia and internationally.

Applicants should submit an Expression of Interest detailing their area of interest, for commencement in early 2016. Enquiries can be made to Jumbunna postgrad advisor Amanda Porter (, 02 9514 9684) or either of the Chief Investigators Heather Goodall (, Heidi Norman ( The Expression of Interest should be sent to CI Prof. Heather Goodall (