National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Mr Antonio Mercurio
Manager, Curriculum Development, Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia

Ms Linda Clayton
Project Officer, Aboriginal Education Strategy, Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia

Imagining Themselves - Imagining Their Futures

In 1999, 46 Indigenous students completed the South Australian Certificate of Education, a certificate signalling the completion of upper secondary education. This figure, coming at the end of the 20th century, while encouraging when compared to previous years' statistics, reflects a social, political, and economic legacy that has resulted in a handful of Indigenous students completing secondary school education - an education that is considered by the State as the entitlement of all, essential for future success, and fundamental for active citizenship.

This paper analyses the thoughts, ideas, and experiences of Indigenous students who succeeded in upper secondary education. How do these students imagine themselves? How are they shaping their identities? How do they imagine their futures? What might this mean for the way we imagine ourselves? The voices of these Indigenous students lend encouragement to a diverse society.

Antonio Mercurio, is manager of curriculum development at the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia (SSABSA). His interests include the history of education, the teaching of languages, and the changing constructions of upper secondary education.

Linda Clayton, is an Indigenous woman who has a commitment to improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students. She holds the position of Project Officer, Aboriginal Education Strategy, at SSABSA.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops