Counter stories: The voices of Indigenous peoples undertaking educative roles in flexi schools


  • Marnee Shay The University of Queensland
  • Grace Sarra Queensland University of Technology
  • Jo Lampert La Trobe University



Indigenous education, flexi schools, Indigenous educators, Indigenous voices, racism


This paper reports on findings from the first author’s doctoral research examining the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in Australian flexi schools. ‘Collaborative yarning methodology’ story boarding was used to hear (and theme) the collective experiences of Indigenous teaching and non-teaching staff in these alternative school settings where both they and Indigenous students make up larger numbers of staff than mainstream schools. Informed by Indigenist and critical race theory, 19 Indigenous staff members contributed to knowledge around three themes: Us Mob; Race and racism, and School Practice which incorporated discussions both of curriculum and of issues related to funding. Many Indigenous staff were working in flexi schools through choice and a sense of commitment to working with Indigenous youth. However other issues, such as experiences of racism, were still present despite the ‘social justice’ nature of flexi schools. 


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Author Biographies

Marnee Shay, The University of Queensland

Marnee is an Aboriginal (Wagiman) senior lecturer in the School of Education at UQ who undertakes research in the fields of Indigenous education, youth studies, policy and flexi schooling.

Grace Sarra, Queensland University of Technology

Grace Sarra is a Professor in education and has over 30 years of experience in Indigenous education. Grace researches in the fields of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, early childhood and inclusive education and incarcerated young people.

Jo Lampert, La Trobe University

Jo Lampert is a Professor of Education and was the co-founder of the National Exceptional Teaching for Disadvantaged Schools program. Jo’s research has included Indigenous education, teacher education for high poverty schools and community-engagement in teacher education.


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How to Cite

Shay, M., Sarra, G., & Lampert, J. (2022). Counter stories: The voices of Indigenous peoples undertaking educative roles in flexi schools . The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 51(1).