PhD (University of Tech., Sydney), Dr (University of Tech., Sydney)
Grace is a Senior lecturer/researcher in the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice (CIESJ). She has worked in partnership with First Nations Communities throughout Queensland for many years. Grace's research addresses the need for urgent educational reform to support the engagement of young First Nations children at school. She was awarded an AFHEA (Indigenous) through the Carumba Institute at QUT. Grace has worked across primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors to support an understanding and inclusion of First Nations perspectives and Knowledges within the education curriculum. She is an affiliate member of the QUT Centre for Justice and is the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education representative for the CIESJ Faculty Academic Board. Grace is an Advisory Editorial Board member of (IN)Justice International - a Global Collective. Her areas of research include: Exclusion and the School to Prison Pipeline of First Nations young people; Co-design with the First Nations Community in Moreton Bay to prevent recidivism of First Nations young peoples through education/training and employment framework/programs; Lowering Suspension & Exclusion Rates from schools for First Nations young males; School Equity; Culturally Responsive Education Programs; Social Justice; Inclusive Pedagogy; and Schooling for the 21st Century (Grace is available for Supervisions)
Grace has been teaching for over 20 years. Her teaching experience includes Indigenous Education, Pre-service teacher professional practice, Sociology and Psychology. Grace also works in partnership with First Nations communities in the Moreton Bay Region, through her association with the Moreton Bay Murri Network to support and improve educational equity for First Nations children who are vulnerable to exclusion from school and over-represented in the juvenile justice system. Grace completed a Master of Indigenous Education through Macquarie University and received the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence in 2015. She is one of the first researchers in Australia to investigate the link between educational exclusion of First Nations young males and the school to prison pipeline. Grace is currently co-researching a methodology to develop and implement an Indigenous Languages Program in an Early Learning Centre in a regional town in Queensland. She is also developing an Education/Training and Employment Framework for First Nations children and youth exiting juvenile detention in Partnership with Mindle Bygul Aboriginal Corporation in the Moreton Bay Region.
- Reference year
- AFHEA (Indigenous)
- Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
- Reference year
- Vice Chancellor's Commendation for Academic Excellence
- O'Brien G, (2021) Disrupting the Status Quo: A Socially Just Education for Australia's First Nations Boys. In J Lalas & HL Strikwerda, Minding the Marginalized Students Through Inclusion, Justice, and Hope: Daring to Transform Educational Inequities, Emerald, pp. 193-209.
- O'Brien G, (2021) The Education of First Nations Children in Australian Educational Contexts: Some Children Are More Equal Than Others. In J Gillett-Swan & N Thelander, Children's Rights from International Educational Perspectives: Wicked Problems for Children's Education Rights, Springer, pp. 99-114.
- O'Brien G, (2021) Racial Profiling, Surveillance and Over-Policing: The Over-Incarceration of Young First Nations Males in Australia, Social Sciences, 10 (2).
- O'Brien G, Trudgett M, (2020) School house to big house, The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 49 (1), pp. 98-106.
- Ewing B, Sarra G, Price R, O'Brien G, Priddle C, (2017) Access to sustainable employment and productive training: workplace participation strategies for Indigenous employees, Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2017 (2), pp. 27-42.
- O'Brien G, (2017) Excluding Indigenous youth from schools may severely increase their risk of incarceration, The Conversation.