Wednesday, 7 June 1:30pm - 2:30pm ACST


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in education and employment outcomes remains an important topic of discussion, especially in light of the recent Closing the Gap report which shows there has been no reduction in the gap in employment parity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This webinar pulls together recently published quantitative and qualitative research on the topic of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement in VET and employment outcomes, focusing particularly on VET participation trends and the impact of VET on employment outcomes over the last decade, as well as boosting retention in, and completion of VET in remote areas.

Join researcher Georgina Windley as she facilitates a panel discussion with leading researchers and a VET training manager to discuss the latest research and explore what it means for practitioners and RTOs who are providing education and training to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, particularly those in remote areas.


Georgina Windley, Research Officer, Research Operations, NCVER

Georgina's role includes undertaking research as part of NCVER’s in-house research program and commercial consultancy projects and managing research projects funded through the National Vocational Education and Training Research Program. Georgina’s research interests include Indigenous education and skills development, work-based & work integrated learning approaches and employers’ engagement in VET.



Heather Crawford, Research Officer, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, The Australian National University

Heather Crawford joined the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at the ANU as a Research Officer in 2014, after a long career in the Australian Bureau of Statistics and a brief stint at the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare. She is an experienced data analyst and social researcher with over 25 years' experience working in across diverse subject areas including families and child care, labour force, adult literacy and time use.

Heather is currently working in the areas of socioeconomic outcomes, health and wellbeing for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Most recently she co-authored CAEPR Working Paper 114 with Associate Professor Nicholas Biddle, which examined trends over the past decade in vocational education participation and outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, drawing on Census data, NCVER collections, and the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset.


Dr John Guenther, Research Leader, Education and Training, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

John is the Research Leader Education and Training, with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, based in Darwin, Northern Territory. Over the last 14 years John has conducted research and evaluation projects which have focused on remote contexts, particularly in the Northern Territory of Australia. A recurring theme in all his work is the importance of learning, whether it be for adults, young people or children. He is also interested in education systems and their impact on learning. In recent work on remote education systems a focus has been on the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems and their accompanying epistemologies, ontologies, axiologies and cosmologies. Understanding the interface between cultures in the ‘red dirt’ context of schooling in remote communities has also been a key concern. John prefers to use mixed methods approaches where the powerful combination of qualitative and quantitative data can be used for transformative purposes.


Devena Monro, Administration and VET Manager , Wontulp-Bi-Buya College

Devena is a proud Aboriginal woman with bloodline connection to both Butchulla People of K’Gari Island in the Wide Bay Region and Garawa People of the Gulf of Carpentaria of Queensland. She is currently employed by Wontulp-Bi-Buya College situated in Cairns, as the Administration and VET Manager. Devena has always had a heart for her people and throughout her lifetime has seen the benefits in up-skilling and the importance of cultural appropriate ways of doing and well-being. It is this desire that has enhanced her passion to work along side her people in the community sector within the fields of Employment, Training and Education, in which she has done for over 25 years.

Devena has completed her Masters in Education, which opened the door to undertaking her PhD studies with Deakin University in Melbourne. Devena has dedicated her life to continuously assist in and to ensure her people are designated a cultural appropriate space to be continuously educated. It is also with the development of her skills in research that she is hopeful to assist in changing mindsets within this nation for the betterment and the cohesion of all people.


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