The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our campuses are situated. With a history spanning 60,000 years as the original educators, Indigenous peoples hold a unique place in Australia. We recognise the importance of their knowledge and culture, and reflect the principles of participation, equity, and cultural respect in our work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and consider it an honour to learn from our Indigenous colleagues, partners, and friends.

You are reading: Data Insights at DESE seminar: Improving the evidence about “what works” for effective outreach strategies for Indigenous students

NCSEHE Equity Fellow Dr Katelyn Barney was invited to deliver a seminar on 26 August as part of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) Data Insights at DESE series.

Katelyn presented key findings and recommendations from her 2020 project, and introduced a new set of resources for student equity outreach staff including video clips and a podcast series.


There are numerous outreach initiatives run by universities for Indigenous high school students that attempt to elevate aspirations of Indigenous students to go to university. The theoretical case for these initiatives is strong as much data exists about the barriers Indigenous students face in entering university. However, the research and evidence base for these equity programs remains largely underdeveloped and limited (Bennett et al., 2015). Drawing on findings from a National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) Equity Fellowship, this presentation identifies what works and what areas to strengthen in Indigenous specific outreach programs. The presentation concludes by discussing the development of strategies and resources to build the evidence base of effective outreach activities for Indigenous students.

Event recording and transcript

About the speaker

Katelyn Barney, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at The University of Queensland. Her research focuses on improving pathways for Indigenous students into and through higher education and advancing understanding about the role of collaborative research and music making between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. She was a 2019/2020 Equity Fellow with the NCSEHE, exploring what works in university outreach programs for Indigenous secondary school students. Katelyn is also Managing Editor of The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education.

Katelyn Barney’s Equity Fellowship final report will be published in late-2021

Thank you to the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment for providing this seminar recording.