Improving the Outcomes of Indigenous Boarding School Graduates

Project dates: 2023 – 2026

Project Summary

This project generates evidence that is urgently needed to improve Indigenous Australian boarding school outcomes, by examining the life paths and experiences of recent graduates. It draws on rich qualitative data regarding Indigenous graduate experiences, to examine practices that affect retention, attainment, post-school pathways and cultural wellbeing. This project expands a novel Indigenous research method, photoyarn, to amplify the voices of Indigenous participants using digital co-research processes. Using digital Indigenous research methodologies, this project provides first-hand evidence to inform Indigenous education policy, toward closing the gap in Indigenous boarding graduate outcomes.

Research Objectives

  • Collaborate with international experts and world-leading Indigenous boarding schools to inform evidence-based Indigenous education policy and address the challenge of Indigenous schooling away from home.
  • Produce first-hand stories through in-depth qualitative yarning combined with participant digital photography, to develop evidence about the impact of boarding school on Indigenous graduate outcomes. This project will specifically illuminate the impact of boarding school on connection to Indigenous language, culture and country, on relationships and cultural identity, on employment, and pathways to further education.
  • Empower Indigenous young people to share personal experiences of boarding school and post-graduation pathways through the development of innovative research processes that centre the voices of Indigenous people. This project builds the capacity of participants as co-researchers using a novel Indigenous Australian research method, photoyarn, and expands the development of this method in digital and online spaces.

HDR Opportunity

DMRC research program

This project contributes to the research within the following DMRC research program:

DMRC research group

This project contributes to the research within the following DMRC research group:


  • ARC DECRA Fellowship (DE230100140)

Chief Investigator