Young People’s Narratives of Disadvantage, Class, Place and Identity
3. From deficits and deficiencies to strengths and capabilities: puncturing notions of disadvantage
Hopefully I’m going to [university] next year. If I get a high enough score I would like to do physiotherapy and there will be more options…Mum and dad left school early. They expected me to drop out in the first couple of years of secondary school and get an apprenticeship. When I said I just wanted to finish school their jaws just dropped. I will be the first one in my extended family to finish school (Derek, aged 17 years, New Vision Community College, 2011).
Australia Day is commemorated as a national holiday on the 26th of January—a date which marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of convict ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove in 1788. According to patriotic sentiment, the official purpose of the day is for all Australians to come together to celebrate what is great about their nation and being an Australian citizen. It’s an occasion to fly the flag, participate in civic and community events or simply have a barbecue with family and friends. Not all Australians share this sense of pride and rejoicing. For many Aboriginal people, January 26th is a day of mourning marking as it does the beginnings of a colonial era which resulted in the dispossession of their lands and the destruction of families and cultural traditions. One of the most disturbing aspects of the day is the uncritical celebration of Australia’s culture, values...
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