Resisting the truancy trap: Indigenous media and school attendance in 'remote' Australia

Lisa WALLER, Kerry MCCALLUM, Scott Gorringe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are mobilizing a range of media forms to reveal, resist and shift what we term ‘the truancy trap’ – a simplistic, pervasive and powerful discourse of deficit about school attendance in ‘remote’ Indigenous communities that is perpetuated by mainstream media and Australian government policy. In this article, we draw upon Engoori®, an Indigenous educational intervention and research method, which provides a framework for moving institutions, organizations, communities and individuals out of deficit and into strength-based approaches. The Engoori process is activated here to surface and challenge the deficit assumptions that set the ‘truancy trap’, and as a lens for conceptualizing Indigenous media discussion, innovation and action on school attendance. The qualitative media analysis presented here reveals how a diversity of Indigenous media has been used in different ways to build a culture of inclusivity, belonging and connection; give Indigenous people a voice and reaffirm strengths in communities. The article contributes to international scholarship on Indigenous media as tools of resilience, resistance and education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)122-147
    Number of pages25
    JournalPostcolonial Directions in Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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