ICS Seminar - Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, Alanna Kamp and Susan Page

Being Brave and Making Informed Change: What ‘Indigenous Studies’ mean for WSU Research and Teaching

Event Details:

Date and Time: Thursday, 26 May, 11:30am - 1:00pm

Location: Building EZ, Conference Room 1, Parramatta South Campus, Western Sydney University

Chair: Professor Brett Neilson

Panellists: Professor Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, Dr Alanna Kamp and Professor Susan Page


Drawing on the 2022 Reconciliation week theme, ‘Be Brave, Make Change’, this seminar panel considers what ‘Indigenous Studies’ mean for WSU Research and Teaching, with the understanding that Indigenous Studies involve re-thinking academic teaching and research through Indigenous Standpoints and not simply discrete disciplinary expertise. We speak from iterative research and teaching experiences as Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, outlining what we see as the challenges and possibilities for WSU research and teaching, what is being achieved, and how these experiences relate to academic norms and institutional regulation. The panel will discuss the current ARC consultations about ERA from Indigenous Standpoints, decolonising and Indigenising curriculum, and the WSU Graduate Attributes. It is critical for the academy to support quality Indigenous Studies because this will help reduce compounding historical trauma, and educate the next generation of leaders about how to be brave and make informed change.


Professor Susan Page is an Aboriginal Australian academic whose research focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experience of learning and academic work in higher education and student learning in Indigenous Studies. Susan is currently Director of Indigenous Learning and Teaching at Western Sydney University. She has held several Indigenous Higher Education leadership positions and she has led a university-wide Indigenous graduate attribute project (UTS). Susan has collaborated on a number of competitive research grants, has received a national award for Excellence in Teaching (Neville Bonner Award) and is well published in the area of Indigenous Higher Education.

Professor Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews is a D’harawal man raised on Bidigal (bitter water) and Nattaimattagal (sweet water) Country. As a scholar, Prof Bodkin-Andrews’ research encapsulates and promotes Aboriginal Australian standpoints and perspectives across a diversity of disciplines (most notably education and psychology). He has been a chief investigator for numerous research grants examining a diversity of topics including, mental health, mentoring, identity, Traditional Knowledges and Storytelling, Indigenous-centered statistics, education, racism, and bullying. Prof Bodkin-Andrews is currently Director of Indigenous Research at Western Sydney University.

Dr Alanna Kamp is Lecturer in Geography and Urban Studies in the School of Social Sciences, WSU. She is Research Fellow in the Young and Resilient Research Centre, and member of the Challenging Racism Project and Diversity and Human Rights Research Centre. Alanna has been teaching at WSU for 14-years. Since 2020 she has been the unit coordinator of People, Place and Social Difference, a first year core unit in the School of Social Sciences that comprises a multi-disciplinary cohort of over 1200 students annually. Alanna was the winner of the inaugural School of Social Sciences Excellence in Indigenous Learning and Teaching Award in 2020, and the winner of the inaugural Western Sydney University Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor Academic Award for Excellence in Indigenous Teaching in 2021.