The University of Newcastle, Australia

PhD Student Commences Thesis

Friday, 22 April 2016

Kate Mellor has commenced a PhD with the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) that will explore the intersections between disciplines and Indigenous knowledges and methodologies.

Image of Kate Mellor

“I will be mainly focusing on the Australian context by examining examples and models of academic discipline engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges,” explained Kate.

Kate’s interest in working in culturally and educationally diverse environments has taken her from Sydney to Turkey and Canada, to her current role teaching across the Open Foundation and Newstep programs at the University of Newcastle.

“Working with enabling students has been particularly rewarding and has increased my awareness of the complexities surrounding access and participation of equity students in higher education,” said Kate.

She says that undertaking her PhD with CEEHE and being supervised by Professor Penny Jane Burke is an opportunity to complement her practitioner experience and develop long term research capabilities.

“The fact that my PhD is located in CEEHE is particularly appealing because I get to ask and explore important questions in equity while being immersed in an environment dedicated to this field and supported by leading equity researchers,” she said.

“CEEHE’s dynamic approach is ideal for a beginning researcher, like myself, looking for opportunities to collaborate, develop and exchange ideas,” she added.

Despite already encountering some tricky questions, Kate is focused on working within given structures to enact change.

“Indigenous methodologies challenge and critique dominant knowledges and discourses about whose voices are heard and permitted to be heard in academia,” she said.


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