USQ researcher among 2016 Fulbright scholars
A University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Aboriginal academic has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to undertake research in America with marginalised women’s groups to centre their often unheard voices.
Dr Kathryn Gilbey is one of 30 researchers to receive a 2016 scholarship from the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, a leading scholarship program recognised for its quality, values and opportunities.
Dr Gilbey, a lecturer at USQ’s College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research (CISER), was awarded the Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship in Cultural Competence.
Dr Gilbey will be commencing her scholarship at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and University of California, Santa Cruz, this year to work alongside some of the world’s leading researchers in Chicana/o and Feminist studies.
The collaboration between Dr Gilbey’s research at USQ and the partnering of American universities will be the first of its kind between Aboriginal women in Australia who have life experience of settler colonialism and Chicana women from California whose experiences of settler colonialism, though different, is felt to be similar in many ways.
Dr Gilbey said she hoped the scholarship and cultural exchange project would provide opportunities to strengthen educational practice and community based research collaborations.
“It will be a foundation that is being laid for future generations,” Dr Gilbey said.
“We want to build a bridge of communication that can be traversed into the future, this is no one way street.”
The project will provide an opportunity for Dr Gilbey to work within a program of Chicana studies at California State University Northridge and the University of California Santa Cruz.
“These will become case studies of ‘what is’ in America through which I will explore ‘what could be’ in Australia,” she said.
“The purpose will be to both share and learn from North American leading educational institutions that have undertaken a process of recognising more than one way of being and knowing in an educational space.
“This knowledge will be brought back to Australia and delivered in the form of journal articles and forums.
“The largest outcome attached to the project is the compilation of an edited book modelled on This Bridge Called My Back.”
USQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Jan Thomas said the University was excited about Dr Gilbey’s scholarship and research.
“USQ’s research seeks to make a difference in the community and Australian society, working with partners to develop interventions and solutions that are scalable and transferable, equipping organisations and communities for change,” she said.
“Dr Gilbey’s collaboration makes our commitment to the Indigenous Research Strategy very real.”
The Head of College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research, Professor Tracey Bunda said that the College was very proud that Dr Gilbey had won this most prestigious award and her success stood as a shining light for other Indigenous researchers to follow.
The Fulbright scholars will be awarded their scholarship at the 2016 Showcase and Presentation Dinner held at the RACV Club on Thursday (February 25).
They will also be celebrated during the 2016 National Fulbright Roadshow in May 2016.
The Australian-American Fulbright Commission supports and encourages academic excellence, innovation and research through it Scholarship Program.
For further information on the College for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research visit www.usq.edu.au/about-usq/faculties-sections/ciser/about.