Supporting Indigenous Students Through the University Journey: The Elder in Residence Program

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Chapman, Elaine
Whiteford, Gail
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Mahsood Shah, Gail Whiteford
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2017
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Abstract

The rates of participation of indigenous students in higher education in Australia is lower than that of nonindigenous students due to a number of complex and intersecting factors. Whilst a range of programs have been introduced aimed at reaching indigenous students, raising their aspirations towards higher education and building pathways for entry, attention has also been required to ensure that adequate support is provided once indigenous students actually commence university. In Australia, an Elder in Residence program was developed at Macquarie University and was specifically aimed at providing cultural support for indigenous students in their journey through university—and the many attendant challenges that the journey entails. This chapter charts the development of the position from the perspective of the incumbent(s) of the Elder, from the senior manager responsible for creating and funding the position and from indigenous students who interacted with the Elder over time. It concludes with recommendations for the future for such positions in Australia and overseas.

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Bridges, Pathways and Transitions: International Innovations in Widening Participation
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Other biomedical and clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
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