• Elizabeth Mackinlay
  • Martin Nakata




We are very pleased to bring you Volume 45 of The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. At this moment in time, we feel that the work of AJIE has perhaps never been more important, particularly as it relates to engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and communities in systems of schooling. In May this year we witnessed the evacuation of school teachers from the remote community of Aurukun, Queensland in fear of violence. A group of 15 disengaged young people had threatened the School Principal and as a consequence of the evacuation, 300 engaged children were subsequently disengaged from School for the remaining five weeks of term following the closure. There is no doubt that teacher safety is paramount, similarly, there should be no doubt that community consultation and engagement in a move like this one equally so. The questions which hang in the air relate to why such levels of disengagement exist. Why are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people disengaged from schooling in Aurukun? What makes it okay that a large number of engaged Indigenous children were forcibly made to disengage from school? Why is there such disengagement from government in engaging local people in the ways in which education business is carried out with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and communities? The papers in this volume of AJIE then, all speak strongly to issues of engagement – the kinds of pedagogy and curriculum that can and should be in place, the kinds of relationships that can and should be in place, and the kinds of outcomes made possible when such educational moves are made. A resounding message from all of the articles in this volume is that the on-going engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, parents, and communities is key to defining and achieving what educational success might mean for each individual child, context and classroom. This is by no means a new message, but the recent events in Aurukun remind us that it is one we must keep returning to – the stakes for complacency and forgetting are too high.


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How to Cite

Mackinlay, E., & Nakata, M. (2016). Editorial. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 45(1), iii-iii. https://doi.org/10.1017/jie.2016.19