Indigenous knowledges, perspectives and pedagogies are approaches used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (and other indigenous peoples from around the world) to teach, learn, understand the world and act ethically and effectively within it.

These ways of knowing, being and doing are important for several reasons:

  • Indigenous people have been excluded from higher education and continue to experience significant barriers to participation that we can help address through approaches to teaching and learning that resonant with by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Indigenous people have sophisticated systems of knowledge and learning that underpinnned highly successful societies for tens of thousands of years. Such knowledges have vast potential to improve and transform how we approach education in Western institutions.
  • More generally, diversity in worldviews enhances creativity, problem-solving, and innovation in teaching, learning and research at Deakin, and Indigenous pedagogies are an important part of the variety that we should seek to foster within universities.

In order to achieve indigenisation of curriculum it is important to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Barriers to creating Indigenous curriculum include:

  • ignorance of Indigenous knowledges alongside fear of getting it ‘wrong’ and cultural appropriation
  • inflexible thinking within the academy about what constitutes valid knowledge (production)
  • devaluing of unique, alternative or different ways of comprehending the world.

Watch this very informative video by Tyson Yunkaporta who talks about Indigenous pedagogies as process and ‘Eight ways of knowing’.

An audio-described version of this video is available here
A transcript of this video is available here

The video below tells the story of how a group of Deakin academics and professional staff worked with Wadawurrung Traditional Custodians to develop a Social Work simulation resource that takes students on a journey through an Australian child protection system alongside an Aboriginal family.

An audio-described version of this video is available here
A transcript of this video is available here

Online resources


Bawaka Country, Suchet-Pearson, S, Wright, S, Lloyd, K, Tofa, T, Burarrwanga, L, Ganambarr, R, Ganambarr-Stubbs, M, Ganambarr B & Maymuru, D 2019, ‘Bunbum ga dhä-yutagum: to make it right again, to remake’, Social & Cultural Geography, pp. 1–17, DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2019.1584825.

Frazer B, Yunkaporta, T 2019, ‘Wik pedagogies: adapting oral culture processes for print-based learning contexts’, The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, pp. 1–7,

Harvey, A & Russell-Mundine, G 2018, ‘Decolonising the curriculum: using graduate qualities to embed Indigenous knowledges at the academic cultural interface’, Teaching in Higher Education, pp. 1–20, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2018.1508131.

Kennedy, J, Thomas, L, Percy, A, Delahunty, J, Harden-Threw, K, Martin, B, de Laat, M & Dean, B 2018, Jindaola: An Aboriginal Way of Embedding Knowledges and Perspectives, 4th edn. [ebook], University of Wollongong, Wollongong, retrieved 28 May 2019.

Kutay, C 2018, ‘Teaching an Australian Aboriginal knowledge sharing process’, in C. Faucher (ed.), Advances in Culturally-Aware Intelligent Systems and in Cross-Cultural Psychological Studies, Springer International, New York, pp. 63–96,

Nursey-Bray, M 2019, ‘Uncoupling binaries, unsettling narratives and enriching pedagogical practice: lessons from a trial to Indigenize geography curricula at the University of Adelaide, Australia’, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, pp. 1–20, DOI:10.1080/03098265.2019.1608921.

Osborne, S, Paige, K, Hattam, R, Rigney, L-I & Morrison, A 2019, ‘Strengthening Australian Aboriginal participation in university STEM programs: a Northern Territory perspective’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 40. no. 1, pp. 4–67, DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2018.1552574.

Perry, L & Holt, L 2018, ‘Searching for the Songlines of Aboriginal education and culture within Australian higher education’, The Australian Educational Researcher, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 343–361.