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Janine Oldfield strives to teach for the better

This article appears in: Alumni stories, Education
Alumni Awards finalist Janine Oldfield

Dr Janine Oldfield’s commitment and dedication to teaching ensures that every student has readily available access to the education they deserve, no matter where they live.

Janine is a lecturer and educator passionate about transformative education that recognises Indigenous language education and positive educational access.

Delivering inclusive education to remote Indigenous communities, she’s empowering students to access Western knowledge while embracing their unique culture and values.

Since graduating, Janine’s teaching career has gone from strength to strength and advocacy for culturally sustaining and self-determined Indigenous education and research has always been at the core of her roles.

Her Bachelor of Education paved the way for the success she’s had.

A great foundation

Janine has worked as both a remote and campus-based lecturer in English literacy, adult and primary education in Central Australia, Darwin and Arnhem Land, and has conducted research in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, the Philippines and Cambodia.

My CDU degree gave me a great foundation and highlighted the positive impact that experienced teachers can have on students.

“It gave me a great insight into school education systems, divergent philosophies and pedagogies, and prepared me for teaching Aboriginal trainee teachers myself," she says.

Diving deeper

In addition to Janine’s qualifications and accreditations in Indigenous language advocacy, her work has been published in multiple publications, she’s spoken at various conferences, co-organised several symposiums, and served as president of the ATESOL NT (Association for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Her PhD thesis exposed the systemic flaws in remote Indigenous education and the resulting effects of eroding Indigenous cultural values and languages.

“My work goes beyond helping individuals and into deeper research that’s exposed the policy failure in Indigenous education, including systemic racism and overall worsening of Indigenous community well-being,” says Janine.

Creating a better understanding

Janine’s research critiquing dominant discourse in Indigenous education has created greater understanding of the barriers, prejudices and weaknesses in modern education modalities. It’s provided invaluable insight into the shortcomings of education policy and its damaging effects on First Australian communities.

“My study has opened up so many doors for me and provided opportunities to get involved in things like designing online education and curriculum units in Indigenous education.

“Using the outcomes of my research, I aim to support the continuation of Indigenous culture, language and self-determination.

Janine has also been recognised by CDU with an Alumni Awards nomination.

Words of the wise

So, with so much experience and knowledge, what advice would Janine give her younger self?

Pursue what you're passionate about and follow that path.

"Find something that you’ll enjoy studying and take those skills into your career. The more knowledge and skills you have, the better opportunities will come your way.”

Have you found something you're passionate about? Study it at Charles Darwin University. Explore courses.

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