Welcome to the third #AARE2023 blog of the conference

We update during the day!

The following post is by Babak Dadvand, La Trobe University

Navigating Australia’s Teacher Shortage Challenges

Australia is currently grappling with a teacher shortage crisis, and the implications are reverberating through the education system. The symposium titled “Understanding Teacher Retention: How are policies and practices contributing towards the teacher shortage, and what is the impact of this for Australian schools?” sheds light on the complexities of this crisis. Collectively, the presentations highlighted and emphasised the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to address the high rates of teacher attrition.

The Current Landscape of Teacher Shortages:

The symposium brought attention to the multifaceted nature of the teacher shortage crisis in Australia. Rising student numbers, challenging workplace conditions, an ageing workforce, and declining enrolments in teacher education programs collectively contribute to the strain on schools and teachers. The impact is particularly acute in schools within geographically or socio-economically marginalised communities. The symposium underscored the critical need for attracting and retaining quality teachers, while highlighting the disproportionate impact on the educational opportunities of students in hard-to-staff schools.

Insights from Leading Research Projects:

The symposium showcased three Australian Research Council (ARC) funded projects, each delving into specific aspects of teacher retention.

1. Induction and the Teacher Workforce: Problems and Confusion (Anna Sullivan – University of South Australia):

Sullivan’s research focuses on induction support for teachers employed casually or on short-term contracts. It is based on a critical policy study that examines the “Graduate to Proficient: Australian guidelines for teacher induction into the profession” (2016). The findings reveal a significant gap in the current induction process for casually employed early career teachers. With 60% of new teachers on casual or short-term contracts, the existing guidelines primarily cater to those with job security, which makes the issue primarily an equity one. The paper emphasises the need for a more comprehensive, system-wide approach to teacher induction, addressing the unique challenges faced by all new teachers, including those who are employed on a casual basis and who constitute a significant portion of the workforce.

2. Career Change Teachers: Assessing Teacher Shortages in Australia (Teresa Bourke – QUT):

Bourke’s research focuses on midcareer Initial Teacher Education (ITE) entrants, often referred to as “career change teachers.” Despite being increasingly positioned as a solution to teacher shortages, this cohort is 25% more likely to leave the profession within the first five years. The research presentation is based on data collected from a cohort of career change teachers from the state of Queensland. The research shows the heterogeneous nature of this cohort. Notably, career change teachers bring valuable life skills, yet they often face challenges such as being unprepared for the classroom, experiencing financial stress, and grappling with work-life balance concerns. This research reminds us of the need for a deeper understanding of how ITE programs accommodate the unique needs of career change teachers. The findings also underscore the importance of supporting this diverse group through tailored approaches that consider personal, structural, and cultural conditions. 

3. Education Workforce for the Future (Jo Lampert – Monash University):

Lampert’s research challenges traditional definitions of “hard-to-staff” schools’ acknowledging the plethora of alternative descriptors such as understaffed schools, disadvantaged schools, challenging schools, regional or rural schools, demanding schools, high-poverty schools, and underserved schools. It questions the blanket application of the term ‘hard to staff’ in the current landscape of teacher shortages, recognising that not all schools face identical issues of workforce shortages. The presentation underscores the importance of fine-tuning the definition to better capture the complexities of teacher shortages in diverse school settings. The focus needs to be on refining the term to include schools that have not only experienced teacher loss but also struggled to replace departing teachers. It calls for a more nuanced approach in defining schools facing teacher shortages, acknowledging the varied impacts on teachers in different settings.

Looking Forward: Towards Solutions and Systemic Change

In conclusion, the symposium acts as a call for urgent action. It highlights the need for comprehensive policies and practices that address the root causes of teacher shortages. By redefining and refining existing approaches to teacher induction, supporting career change teachers, and acknowledging the diverse and multi-faceted challenges faced by the existing teaching workforce, Australia can pave the way for a sustainable and robust education system. The ultimate goal is to empower teachers, foster a sense of ownership, and ensure the continuity of quality education for all students across the country.

The following post is by Jane Polley, University of Tasmania

Politics, education, the arts: A critical discourse analysis of the 2022 PISA creative expression results

The AARE conference provides such a wonderful opportunity to present during my PhD journey to an interested and knowledgeable audience.

Today as part of the Politics and Policy in Education SIG strand, I presented my paper- An intersection of politics, education, and the arts in curriculum: a critical discourse analysis of the 2022 PISA creative expression results.

I was able to present on the way that transnational testing regimes, like PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), are high-stakes, high-visibility, influential drivers of education policy. I showed how the media and think tanks produce articles and reports that invoke PISA results to push certain agendas.

We are at a critical juncture because a week from today the results for PISA 2022 will be released. As well as Reading, Science and Mathematics being assessed, creative thinking has also, ostensibly, been evaluated for the first time.

As an arts educator I’m fascinated to see whether narratives around creativity and creative thinking have any impact on the profile and discourse of the arts in education.

What was so gratifying about today was to be in a room with engaged and active listeners who asked such informed and interesting questions and provoked me to think in new directions. Thank you to AARE, my fellow session presenters, and our fabulous audience, I go into my data gathering phase with renewed zeal and zest.

The following post is by Katie Burke, University of Southern Queensland on the presentation of her PhD student Natalie Gonzalez

School education challenges for Australia’s military-connected students

Tuesday afternoon’s presentation by PhD Candidate, Natalie Gonzalez gave an interesting angle on this year’s theme of “Truth, Voice, Place” by exploring the lived educational experiences of military-connected children in Australia. 

These children can be required to move intrastate, interstate, or even overseas due to regular postings which can occur as often as every two years.

The existing research in this space predominantly comes from the United States and indicates that mobility has a negative impact and is a source of inequality for school students. Australian perspectives are thus very much in need.

The numbers of military connected children in Australia are not small. Census data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that approximately 40 000 ADF personnel have at least one dependent child or student.

The Australian educational landscape compounds challenges to families who experience repeated mobility. Each of the six states and two territories implement curriculum differently, and this is compounded when considering differences across state and private schools.

Natalie has heard the experiences of 12 former military connected students, ages 18-23 through semi-structured interviews. Her analysis of the resulting data is still underway, however initial insights present a compelling picture related predominantly to aspects pertaining to preparing to move, friendships and curriculum.

In the presentation, we gained a more personal insight these themes and their impacts on individuals through the characters of Charlie and Taylor.

Charlie attended 6 schools across five states in his schooling years. Taylor attended seven schools in five locations across three states. Their significant mobility and attendant disruptions to education was consistent for most of Natalie’s participants.

While Charlie and Taylor told different stories, what was consistent was mentions of disruptions to routine, fractured friendships and navigating inconsistent application of curriculum. However, they also told of resilience and determination.

Natalie’s emerging findings demonstrate the very real need for specific support structures for Australia’s military connected kids and other who experience regularly mobility, which appears well timed.

Defence Families Australia recently wrote to Minister Keogh requesting a strengthening of support programs for ADF children. They included a range of recommendations based upon research mainly emanating from the United States.

Research from Natalie’s project will provide vital, Australia-specific insights that should underscore future recommendations and support.

The following post is by Seamus Delaney of Deakin University, based on his presentation today.

Chemistry: Equipping students (and their teachers) to cope in a changing world

Education systems have a critical role in generating a self-sense of teacher and student agency towards addressing critical challenges facing society today. Easy to say, hard to implement. Science/Chemistry teachers regularly use authentic real-world contexts, such as microplastics, ocean acidification or rising anthropogenic emissions, to engage students meaningfully in their learning. However, new curriculum content incorporating green and sustainable chemistry (renewable feedstocks, designing safer chemicals, prevention of waste) being implemented globally in the science classroom tends to gloss over some of the thornier issues, or at least the socio-political factors.

For example, science teachers might feel comfortable to discuss with their students the chemical properties of novel batteries used in electric cars, but how about the politics of electric cars, or the ethics of electric cars? How would they feel overseeing a classroom discussion of how resources and labour in the global south are being exploited to implement the green energy transition, primarily to benefit the global north? 

This session presented on an ongoing international initiative supporting teachers to teach chemistry more holistically in high schools, by incorporating human level factors. Professional learning workshops ran in New Zealand and Australia across 2021-2023 challenged teachers to ask themselves (and so later their students) for whom has our material world been designed. In ‘systems thinking’ speak, we ask for whose benefit have the boundaries of a system been defined. Is it multi-species? Is it decolonised? Classroom ready examples included systems-oriented maps constructed by students and teachers provide opportunities for students to explore and express concepts and connections related to chemical or manufacturing processes. 

Students reported being challenged (in a good way) to delve deeper chemical processes, with real-world connections more apparent to them. Teachers reported that the systems thinking skills embedded in the mapping exercise ensured students didn’t miss these real-world connections, particularly the unintended consequences/outcomes of materials. Future research is exploring a greater breadth of contexts and further teacher support material, being made available on a project website.

The following post was written by Susan Page, Western Sydney University.

Reclaiming our Indigenous birthright

Professor Marcia Langton’s keynote speech addressed two key but intertwined ideas: that education about Indigenous cultures and histories is critical to be taught in our schools, for Indigenous Australian children and for all Australian children. Drawing on her own history, Professor Langton reminded the largely non-Indigenous audience of our She argued that the Australian education system meets neither the broader commitments of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People nor the national obligations outlined by AITSL and the Indigenous cross-curriculum priorities.

She pointed to the successive failures of the school education system to meet the Indigenous cross-curriculum priority, indicating that of the three cross-curriculum priorities, (sustainability and Asia) that the Indigenous priority is the only one considered optional and that this represents an existential threat to Indigenous survival. 

Making the connection between the failure of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum and societal ignorance of Indigenous matters, Professor Langton offered the provocative proposition that the education system continues to contribute to genocide by omitting the teaching of Indigenous languages and cultures. 

“Education in our schools almost completely ignores Indigenous history,” she said.

She argues that Indigenous education is vital for Indigenous children who should be able to learn and their history and culture, in the same way the education system schools children in western culture and history. Just as important though is Indigenous education for all Australian children to remedy to ignorance that has been so evident during the Voice referendum campaign.

Professor Langton also made some comments about her own experiences during the referendum. She said she had been accused of benefiting from British colonisation because she is articulate and educated – yet this glosses over her childhood of poverty on the margins and denies her intellect and agency. Her father was an indentured labourer.

She was in her thirties before she realised she had grown up in the shadow of the destruction of a complex knowledge system and she began to think about the genocide of Indigenous people, a history made real through her own family story. 

“All Australian children deserve to know about 65,000 years of Indigenous cultures and histories,” she said.

“We want our children to get a proper education – and to be educated in their own languages and cultures.”

The University of Melbourne is conducting the Ngarrngga, creating high-quality, innovative curriculum resources for educators, and designed to overcome educator hesitancy and fear. There will be a series of research trials to see if this works.

The lecture was interrupted by a proPalestine protestor playing a song about Palestine. That person was ushered out by security. There was a proPalestine protest outside.

Professor Langton said there was no excuse for either antisemitism or Islamophobia and handled the interruption calmly.

The following post is by Haley Tancredi, PhD candidate, QUT’s Centre for Inclusive Education and was from her poster presentation on Tuesday.

Professional conversations: supporting teachers to enact inclusive education

Professional conversations are structured, classroom pedagogy-focused discussions between professionals. In the Accessible Assessment ARC Linkage study, 21 secondary school English teachers participated in fortnightly professional conversations, and these discussions formed an integral component of the Accessible Pedagogies Program of Learning. 

So how can professional conversations support teachers to refine their pedagogical practices for inclusive education, particularly for students with language and/or attentional difficulties? And how are professional conversations different from regular coaching conversations?

Genuine inclusive education, at the chalkface

Genuine inclusive education is everyone’s business and requires systemic reform across policy and governance, leadership, and in the classroom. This united approach is heralded in General Comment No. 4 on Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which defines inclusive education as:

“…a process of systemic reform embodying changes and modifications in content, teaching methods, approaches, structures and strategies in education to overcome barriers”.

However, students’ experiences of inclusion will be largely shaped by their classroom experiences. This is because the pedagogical practices used by teachers can substantially contribute to the “changes and modifications” that students require to be included, rather than integrated.

Therefore, regular classroom teachers are at the chalkface of implementing inclusive education.

Teachers often report that they are supportive of inclusive education. However, there are practical realities, such as a lack of professional support, resources, planning time, and access to specialist support, that can reduce teachers’ confidence to uphold the aims of inclusive education. 

The recent Disability Royal Commission Final Report – Volume 7 (Inclusive education, employment and housing) also identified that existing teacher professional development opportunities “do not fully support teachers to gain capabilities to better support students with disability”. This is concerning, because we must invest in teachers to support them to build the skills and confidence required to provide accessible, high quality, whole class instruction.

Not all professional development is created equal

Traditional lecture-style approaches to teacher professional learning are typically facilitator-centred and position teachers as passive recipients of learning. In her keynote at the recent Accessible Assessment Forum, Professor Nicole Mockler aptly referred to traditional professional learning as the “spray on” option: experiences that are often one off, short-term, and decontextualised

Lecture-style professional development also fail to take local teaching contexts into account and neglect teacher practitioner knowledge, skill, and expertise. While approaches like this often include nice catering and comfortable venues, they are expensive, and beyond offering a nice day out, do not represent quality investment in our teacher workforce.

Teaching is complex, intellectual work and so it follows that teacher professional development needs to offer technical support to teachers to refine their practices.

Therefore, modern approaches to high-quality and effective professional learning must be intensive, sustained, and provide active learning opportunities. Professional development that is structured in this way can support teachers to reflect on and refine specific pedagogical skills that can be readily embedded in the classroom.

In the US, examples of multiple touchpoint and sustained teacher professional development already exist. For example, MyTeachingPartner is an evidence-based approach to teacher professional development, focused on practice refinements to enhance student-teacher relationships. One element of this approach is regular, individual coaching sessions.

We have drawn on these international examples and have developed an approach to professional conversations that aim to support teachers to enact inclusive education in their unique classroom contexts. 

Professional conversations

Professional conversations are highly structured, action-focused, individual coaching sessions that take place to support teachers to refine their practice. In the Accessible Assessment ARC Linkage project, we used professional conversations as one element of the program of learning in Accessible Pedagogies, alongside an online learning platform and a group professional learning community. 

We knew that professional conversations would require an investment from both teachers and the research team, but we also knew that it would be time and energy well spent.

Twenty-one secondary English teachers were invited to participate in four, fortnightly professional conversations across one school term in 2022. With the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, illness, and other school commitments, 80 professional conversations took place in total. 

Each conversation followed a consistent structure, where the teacher and researcher discussed professional learning materials, shared co-constructed feedback on teaching practice, and discussed and planned pedagogical practice refinements. 

Before each conversation, we also invited teacher participants to watch a short video segment of themselves teaching. This gave us some common ground from which we could engage in iterative feedback cycles, focused on the Accessible Pedagogies Domains (linguistic, procedural, and visual accessibility).

Overview of the Accessible Pedagogies program of learning

Figure 1. Overview of the Accessible Pedagogies Program of Learning

Here are some of the teacher’s reflections on the value and impact of professional conversations:

“It was really good. It’s been an interesting process. Sometimes I felt a little bit overwhelmed and stretched, but no, it’s been great.” (Teacher C2)

“It’s my seventh year of teaching, um, or coming up to being my seventh. And I think it’s so important to do things that make you look at the way you do things” (Teacher A2)

“I guess we started looking at our own practices. For me, it’s been really enjoyable to be learning something again and to kind of be forced to reflect. You know, we walk out and look and then we just kind of carry on with our day, whereas now I’m putting in a bit more. Not necessarily more time, but more effort and thinking more about the lessons and really trying to break up the lessons. That first one you filmed, there was just a lot of teacher talk when there would have been a lot of opportunity for the kids to do an activity, like today’s lesson. I really tried to reflect on that and get the kids to do stuff, and I have easily kept collecting answers on the board, and I was like, ‘No, you do it’.” (Teacher C4)

“It’s just been really interesting to be able to be very reflective. I guess I reflect on my practice sometimes, but I guess to reflect on it more explicitly and be aligned with certain categories, you know, like with the visual, linguistic and procedural rather than just thinking of a lesson as a whole. I guess it’s pretty easy for us to over complicate things sometimes. But, you know, lessons don’t always have to be, you know, extravagant. Things that take forever to put together. It’s more about, you know, making sure that the right pieces are there for kids to be able to access what you’re trying to teach them, because you can come up with a lesson and PowerPoint. But if the kids can’t decipher what’s on it, you’ve wasted your time doing it.” (Teacher B5)

The professional conversations in our research offered teachers the opportunity to build professional trust, reciprocity, and engage in deep professional practice discussions. These opportunities were critical to supporting teachers to feel confident to interrogate their typical practice and make practice refinements.

This study provides early data on the impact and value of professional conversations to support regular, secondary school teachers to enact inclusive education. These findings have the potential to inform high-impact principles for future teacher professional learning in Australia and beyond.

At the 2023 AARE Conference, in Melbourne, I presented this work at a poster presentation (view the poster here). It was wonderful to share the value and impact of professional conversations with academics from across Australia, including academics from early childhood, initial teacher education, and English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) education. The people I spoke to shared that they could see how targeted professional conversations could apply in their fields of study and work with educators.

We thank the 21 teachers who participated in the Accessible Pedagogies program of learning for being open, willing, and brave to deeply reflect on and refine their practices in this way.

The following post is by Steven Kolber on Schools and education systems

What’s the difference? Listening or holding hands

The ever inflamed ‘evidence-based’ framing of education has brought a continuing hum of activity to this area of research. Alongside the ever present perceived gap between teachers and researchers, schools and the academy. 

The Monash Q project focussed on how teachers talk about quality research use, focussing on outlining general principles of research use rather than simply hot-spotting the examples of excellence that exist. 

Individually, research engagement came from curiosity, taken from the page to the classroom or vice versa. As a way to zoom out from the day-to-day work and finding outside help. Some teachers spoke about pedagogical and learning models adopted and used within the classroom being applied and used to plot a process of research engagement. 

As a shared collaborative practice, the action of including research use into school practices and processes. This work was relational, collaborative – and just became an accepted part of school culture, and thus invisible.

The final, most oblique framing is as an invested practice, meaning research was viewed as an investment that must bear fruit. Tying into purposefulness and the implicit capitalist neoliberal framing of this concept, teachers view this through a cost-benefit-analysis (CBA) approach. 

In closing these implications were provided, and serve as useful provocations for those not within the session. 

Overcoming the research/practice juncture? Investigating research use as an educational practice.

Blake Cutler, Monash University; Mark Rickinson, Monash University; Joanne Gleeson, Monash University; Lucas Walsh, Monash University; Genevieve Hall, Monash University

Shifting research use, we moved to leaders applying and implementing research for impact. The Australian Education Research Organisation (known colloquially as the initialism AERO)  sits as an organisation aiming to support teachers to make use of research through evidence-based practices. The implementation science that is far too often absent from schools, alongside evaluation of effectiveness.

This support is provided directly to schools and ECECs and also via the system structures. The learning partner project has focused on direct instruction, through coaching, PL and planning support and is working with 14 schools across Australian states and looking to scale up best practice approaches.

These small scale works on schools would ideally be followed up with further, and more generalisable research into these spaces, at a later date. The messy work of implementation was approached through a staged approach. Working alongside schools as something of a ‘critical friend’ or ‘critical outsider’ can provide a challenging lens to ensure schools are teaching a clear vision for the stages of implementation. A research approach was adopted to gaining a clearer understating of barriers and enablers through a qualtrics survey accessed via smart phones. 

The core differences between the two sessions was the stance of listening to teachers, contrasted to holding hands and supporting leadership teams to implement research, both practices will produce different insights that will serve to improve research use within schools. As an area of research keeping the focus on research as praxis and practice rather than an empty zombie noun is a must – and each of these sessions provided this. 

Supporting schools with deliberate, structured approaches to implementing evidence-based teaching practices Belinda Parker, Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO); Stephanie Murphy, Australian Education Research Organisation

Header image of audience, courtesy of the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre.

Republish this article for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence.

One thought on “Welcome to the third #AARE2023 blog of the conference

  1. Andrew Laming says:

    Marcia Langton’s address this morning was heartfelt and to a sympathetic audience of friends; educators who fit the polled profile from today’s ANU analysis; as strongly YES leaning.

    My interest is the Americanisation of the Australian politik; the intense concentration of progressives within commuting distance of our CBDs and the annuli of conservative-leaning voters beyond.

    I have lived in the front line of this emerging geographic divide, representing a federal electorate 25km east of Brisbane for my party for two decades until May last year. For trivia buffs, Brisbane has a 16km mean commute to its CBD, a touch longer than both Sydney and Melbourne I am told, due to relatively fewer employment hubs outside the CBD. That is how I define the tipping point.

    Two thoughts occupied my mind when Langton spoke: Will she shoulder any responsibility for the YES catastrophe, and will she acknowledge this isn’t about NO voters being ‘older and less educated?’

    Australia’s political divide has been defined by wealth, by employment sector and unions, even by Christian denomination. But we have inexorably followed the US into a toxic metro/regional divide. Worse, social media’s algorithm changes around 2017 have deepened the ravine by insulating us from the views of our opponents. We are served more of what we click, like, comment and share.

    With that in mind, our community leaders are now tasked with finding a way to heal, on matters as important as Indigenous recognition. That includes learning from the mistakes of recent history.

    Just as I was horrified by some of Langton’s stumbles as part of the YES campaign (references to racism and bigotry in the NO campaign then threatening to cease welcomes to country), many of my metro peers were devastated by the result for the reverse reason; they assumed Mundine and Price spoke for NO voters. Big mistake.

    On behalf of the majority in my neck of the woods, (which voted 71% NO); here are some concerns from the public bars and netball sidelines which weren’t on billboards or in NO pamphlets.
    1. Little or no issue with Constitutional reform to recognize our First Australians.
    2. Frustration with forcing a single answer from two different Referendum questions
    3. Discomfort as to why it fell to white voters to approve an ‘Aboriginal voice.’ It’s their business and why can’t they just start the process with a meeting or two.
    4. Unconvinced by the ‘all or nothing’ enshrinement demand. If some future Government abolishing a Voice is such a clear and present risk, then how off-the-ranch would the advice be for this to happen. In the same breath, they reassure us Parliament controls the power and function of the Voice in the Constitution. It didn’t add up.
    5. If a Voice merely enshrines partisan wars of words between the folk we see online (Price and Langton), how is that any better?
    6. Not really clear on what issue needs a Voice (school attendance or curriculum tailoring for instance), nor why a lack of a Voice is suddenly taking the blame for every current problem in the sector (the causation association fallacy).

    The voter is rarely wrong. On this particular issue, social conservatives outnumbered progressives. The better argument won. But Langton’s characterization of ‘work to do’ on the 9 million NO voters who are older and less educated, drifts close to traducing opponents; something she was wrongly accused of during the campaign. So did the awful comment that Peter Dutton “made race hate his calling card” and “set reconciliation back a generation.”

    It is one thing for Langton to identify a far higher YES vote in highly educated compared to non-formally educated voters. However it is more prudent and constructive to compare apples with apples.
    o Over a million more young Australians (18-34yo) voted NO than YES
    o Degree holders were split just 14% YES to 12% NO on final week polling.

    So it really is time to park the pointless stereotypes that are inevitably offensive to the very group whose support is essential for future Constitutional change.

    I asked Langton about this today and the exchange was insightful.

    Laming: Your characterization of NO voters being older and less educated isn’t entirely correct. Because support was 75% YES in six polls done after the May 2022 Election, and nearly half of them switched.
    Langton: Yes, it is correct because I have seen the booth-level Referendum data.
    Laming: Yes that is available. But what we don’t have is the demographic breakdown of May 2022 data, so we need to be cautious with generalizations when the dynamic is more meaningful than the snapshot. Perhaps it is more a reflection of how the respective campaigns were run that around a third of Australians gradually changed their mind over the twelve months leading up to October 18 vote. Isn’t the more critical question why that happened?
    Langton: OK Andrew Laming (ushered away)

    Charting a way forward must rest with Indigenous leadership, but I’m not comfortable with the thinly veneered parody of NO voters lacking education, or so old that we just wait for them to push up daisies and it will be fine. It simply isn’t a viable path to any meaningful progress in the medium term.

    The Government welcomed Dutton and Littleproud’s oppositional campaign, because they coveted a political win, a Voice under their watch and typecast the Opposition as racists. It was a catastrophic misjudgment, and despite my political bias, surely the overwhelming reason that Albanese’s YES campaign collapsed.

    If we still feel compelled to say sorry to Indigenous Australians we meet in the corridors, (whom we assume are ‘mourning’ a democratic outcome), reassure them that three-quarters of Australian voters were pro-Constitutional recognition until the YES campaign royally screwed up in the final months.

    That Langton didn’t get to the heart of this failure this morning was disappointing. I politely suggest that navigating this issue more constructively may have to fall to the next generation of more practical Indigenous leadership, many of whom are emerging to lead our professions, corporates and thriving small businesses. They don’t necessarily subscribe to what many in the suburbs see as a grievance ideology driven out of city-centric university campuses by those on public salaries who seem a bit removed from the immediate crisis in central Australia.

    My hope is a nation that learns from its historical mistakes, which now includes October 18.

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