The University of Newcastle, Australia

Writing Program for equity practitioners in full swing

Thursday, 5 March 2020

In February this year we held the first National Writing Program for Equity and Widening Practitioners Workshop of 2020. Participants travelled to UON's Sydney Campus from around Australia (including from Perth, Townsville and Cooma) for 3 days of reading, discussion and writing. They will soon be connected with experienced researchers in the field, who will support and mentor them as they develop research projects toward publication. Alongside launching the 2020 program, we are excited to bring together papers from the 2019 participants (pictured) in a Special Issue of the International Studies in Widening Participation Journal.

Image of Writing Program Participants 2019

The program

The Writing Program for Equity & Widening Participation Practitioners is now in its 4th year. It brings practitioners working in Higher Education into a community of praxis with colleagues and researchers (within CEEHE and the Mentor group). Participants attend a series of workshops on the craft of researching and writing academically, and are mentored by leading academics in the field, nationally and internationally.

It is increasingly important that higher education institutions reveal the significant impact of equity and widening participation initiatives, including strategies to support access, transition and retention of students from historically under-represented backgrounds. One way to achieve this is through greater integration of practitioner informed research about equity and widening participation practice. The Writing Program supports practitioners to speak into national and institutional discussions around equity in higher education.


'The Australian Writing for Equity Practitioners Program has provided rare opportunity for some of the most important but unsung people in the University, those in the equity sector, to have their experiences and expertise legitimised in the processes of publication.' - Dr Steven Threadgold, Senior Lecturer, Humanities and Social Sciences, Youth Studies (ongoing mentor)


'It’s always challenging as a practitioner to take time away from operational service delivery and the resultant guilt you feel about ‘ignoring the student at the counter’ to focus on research. What I have come to realise as a result of participating the in the CEEHE wiring programme is the importance for carving out space and time to immerse yourself in the field, and to allow insights to filter down and inform practice. It is really critical as practitioners that we have time to read and reflect on our work. This praxis is what drives impact in a really connected and meaningful way. My participation in the program has also impacted my team. I was really conscious of ‘working in the open’ and bringing colleagues along for the journey, encouraging others to build in space and time to connect with, and draw insights from, conversations in the field.' - Kelly Whitney, Western Sydney University (inaugural participant)


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