Post-Graduate Supervision of Indigenous Students in the Health-Related Fields

  • Don Gorman
  • Fernando F. PadróEmail author
  • Nona Press


In Australia, there is a need to develop the knowledge and skills, especially in the realm of research, of Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples to develop their knowledge base in a culturally acceptable manner to improve the health of Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples communities. When it comes to doctoral supervision, the fact that its pedagogy is not understood is compounded by the realisation that Western academic culture does not take into account how Indigenous students are impacted on and by its approach and suppositions. This chapter explores the issues against the backdrop of Western knowledge and praxis that suggest freedom of choice within disciplinary constraints and university practice that restricts rather than promotes the capability of doctoral students to choose based on their sense of self. The literature suggests that the supervisor-supervisee relationship is critical to the process of acceptance, but the perception of what the relationship is by the academic community regarding the professional developmental process shapes and limits choices for Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples doctoral students which, in turn, may explain the low participation and graduation rates alongside high attrition rates. A discussion of how to overcome those issues adversely impacting the recruitment and success of Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples into doctoral students in the health-related fields.


Capability Doctoral studies Lehrfreiheit Supervisor-supervisee relationship Supervision as pedagogy Third space 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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