This seminar is the second in our series examining education ‘On and Off Country’. In this seminar, Dr Marnie O’Bryan will examine the role of 'Off Country' boarding schools for secondary aged First Nations students. She will consider policy settings mandating boarding for remote young people, and a pattern of budget allocations prioritising boarding over place-based alternatives. She will present findings from her longitudinal investigation into the lived experience of First Nations boarders, and the in-depth study of one NT remote community, to examine the implications of boarding for individuals and their communities. She will argue that while boarding scholarships create important educational opportunities for some students, the personal and community costs of this policy setting must also be considered.
Marnie is a Research Fellow at CAEPR with a background in Education. She is also Co-Chair of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Before undertaking her doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne, under the supervision of Professor Marcia Langton, Marnie worked for more than a decade with First Nations young people in a range of education and pastoral care settings. From 2012-2019 she led the Victorian Indigenous Education Network of schools in the Independent and Catholic sectors. That organisation was established by teachers working in member schools to raise awareness and drive change in institutions built around strongly euro-centric ideals. Marnie’s PhD study focused on the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Australian boarding schools. Her more recent work investigates the impact of boarding school policy on the secondary education outcomes of young people in remote Australia. Her forthcoming book, Boarding and Australia's First Nations: Understanding how residential schooling shapes lives, will be published by Springer-Nature as part of their Indigenous-Settler Relations in Australia and the World series. It is due for release later this year.