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The Role of the Residence: Exploring the Goals of an Aboriginal Residential Program in Contributing to the Education and Development of Remote Students

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 September 2015

Tessa Benveniste*
Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Drew Dawson
Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Sophia Rainbird
Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
address for correspondence: Tessa Benveniste, Appleton Institute, CQ University, CRC-Remote Economic Participation, 44 Greenhill Rd, Wayville, SA, 5034Australia. Email:
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Recent media and policy focus in remote Aboriginal education has turned to boarding schools. The general rhetoric is that boarding schools will allow Indigenous Australian students to have access to quality education and to learn to ‘walk in two worlds’. However, to date, there has been very little exploration of the lived experiences of Indigenous boarding schools, either from broader political and sociological perspectives, or from the schools themselves. Furthermore, understanding of how the residential side of boarding constructs the use of time and presents educational and social development opportunities is lacking. This paper aims to begin to address this, by presenting the goals and intended outcomes of a residential program for remote central Australian Aboriginal students. Through analysis of 17 semistructured interviews with residence staff, this paper identifies the two overarching goals of the program, as well as the more specific learning outcomes from which the program expects its students to benefit. The research presented is preliminary data that forms part of a broader PhD study of postboarding school expectations and outcomes for remote Aboriginal students, their families, and their communities.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s) 2015 

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