Charles Darwin University’s The Northern Institute will make a significant contribution to a research project into remote education when Senior Research Fellow Dr Melodie Bat takes up a new position at Alice Springs campus in January.
“The core of the project will be to identify better ways to deliver education in the bush,” Dr Bat said.
“It’s part of a broader strategy to invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to redress economic disadvantage and to strengthen the voice of the community.”
Dr Bat said the research project was being run by the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation, a partnership organisation led by Ninti One that seeks to deliver solutions to economic disadvantage in remote Australia.
Charles Darwin University is a key participant in the CRC REP.
The project will seek to identify education models that can achieve higher retention rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, higher quality teaching programs that recognise local needs and cultures, and higher retention rates of quality teachers and principals who see a career in remote education.
“I’ll be gathering the wisdom from previous research projects … and distil what has been shared, said and thought in the past, as well as seeking to understand the current and very complex education systems in remote communities today.
“It will be the biggest project of its kind in remote communities; my dream job,” she said.
Dr Bat will come to CDU from the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE), where she has worked for the past six years.
She has extensive research experience in remote and Indigenous education, leadership and working in Central Australia.
Her Masters in Education was one of the first early literacy research projects
undertaken in remote NT Aboriginal communities and her doctoral research into teacher education at BIITE was timely, given the ongoing national review into Indigenous higher education in Australia.