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No one asked Australia's First People what they thought a university should look like. They did not ask in the 1850s when social and political leaders in Sydney and Melbourne began to build a dream for Australian higher education; they did not ask in the 1950s when the Commonwealth government forged a 'national' system; they did not ask Aboriginal people for their views in the 1960s when they added Colleges of Advanced Education, nor in the 1970s when Gough Whitlam made education free. In the 1960s and 1970s when radicals set up teach-ins and agonised over alternative visions for tertiary education, Indigenous knowledge had little place; even when the first Aboriginal education units were emerging in universities in the 1980s, the long history of Aboriginal learning and dreaming was peripheral to the idea of the university that was, to the (mostly) white privileged men who planned and managed higher education, among Australia's most sophisticated dreams.


School of Arts

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Journal Article

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