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Postgraduate Study in Australia

Surviving and Succeeding

Edited By Christopher McMaster, Caterina Murphy, Benjamin Whitburn and Inger Mewburn

Each contributor to this book was given the remit: "If you could go back in time to talk with yourself when you began your studies, what advice would you give?" Hindsight is such a bonus, especially, when vying for your doctorate or postgraduate degree. Postgraduate Study in Australia: Surviving and Succeeding addresses this with advice from postgraduate students and recent graduates that will assure that you are not alone in your endeavors.

This project follows similar editions that focus on Aotearoa/New Zealand, South Africa,
the United States, and the United Kingdom, and is currently being replicated in Scandinavia. This down-to-earth anthology shares personal stories from postgraduate students and recent graduates, employing a practical approach and focusing on the context of postgraduate studies in Australia. This first-person approach to research about postgraduate study helps curate the current understanding, with critical reflections adding to our collective knowledge. Both prospective and current postgraduate students will find this collection insightful.

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Chapter Sixteen: Die, Brain Demons, Die!: The Internal Monologue of an Aboriginal Researcher (Melitta Hogarth)


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Die, Brain Demons, Die!

The Internal Monologue of an Aboriginal Researcher



As an Aboriginal researcher I recognise that the decision to undertake research places me in a precarious position. Historically, the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been the subject of numerous research projects—making us the researched rather than the researchers. As such, repositioning ourselves as researchers affords an opportunity “to give voice to the voiceless” (Brady, 1992, p. 106). Consider that it was not until the late 1960s that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were allowed to enter the Westernised classroom (Beresford, 2012; Hickling-Hudson & Ahlquist, 2003; Vass, 2012). Opportunities have been afforded to me because of the fight taken up by others in the struggle for self-determination; therefore, there is a responsibility and accountability to continue in this struggle.

I also acknowledge that I do not only represent myself but also my families and community. I am a descendant from Kamilaroi Country (Dirranbandi). I acknowledge my ancestors for their strength and guidance—providing opportunity for me to gain access to education. This chapter gives me the space to share my lived experiences as a way to encourage others to enter the academic realm.

What follows are letters that I have written to myself as a way of reflecting on some of the negative internal monologue that I face. I...

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