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: Higher education aspirations, participation, and achievement of Australian Indigenous males

James Smith1, Himanshu Gupta1, Sam Moore1, Jesse Fleay2, Garth Stahl3, Bep Uink4, Andrew Harvey5, Peter Radoll6, Braden Hill2, Rebecca Bennett4, Jahdai Vigona1, Anthony Merlino1

This report summarises the findings of the project ‘Higher Education Aspirations, Participation, and Achievement of Australian Indigenous males’, led by the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing – Northern Territory at Menzies School of Health Research.

Qualitative, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with Indigenous male students and alumni (n = 19) across five state and territory jurisdictions (NT, WA, VIC, ACT and QLD) to gain insights into participants’ aspirations for, and engagement and participation in, higher education. It is important to acknowledge that this project is non-Indigenous led. However, the research team included multiple Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and educators from across Australia, aiming to include the integration of Indigenist perspectives and adopt (wherever possible) principles of Indigenous Data Sovereignty throughout the different stages of research design, fieldwork, analysis, and knowledge translation.

Findings highlighted the aspirations of Indigenous men and their families to engage in higher education. The aspirations were motivated by a desire to acquire knowledge and skills to gain employment, invest in community development, and to mentor peers and family members. Participants were motivated to pursue topics they were passionate about and sought to embed Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into theories and practice.

Read the full report: Higher education aspirations, participation, and achievement of Australian Indigenous males


1Menzies School of Health Research
2Edith Cowan University
3University of Queensland
4Murdoch University
5La Trobe University
6University of Canberra