What roles does education play in promoting social justice? Who speaks, who's excluded, what is said and what can’t be said about young people, education and social justice in the Asian Century?
RMIT’s Centre for Education, Training and Work in the Asian Century, the Children and Young People in the Asian Century Cluster, and the Youth Work Program at RMIT present a series of public lectures that take up some of the challenges and opportunities for re-thinking social justice for children and young people in an increasingly polarised and globalised world in the Asian Century.
Social Justice and Aboriginal Young People: Looking to the Past to Inform the Future
Ms Lois Peeler AM
Executive Director / Principal of Worawa Aboriginal College
From Cummeragunja Aboriginal Reserve, throughout her life Lois’ family worked tirelessly to improve conditions for Aboriginal people and were instrumental in the establishment of Aboriginal health, legal and education services. They created the first-ever independent Aboriginal secondary school in the early 1980s, Worawa Aboriginal College.
Lois has extensive experience in Aboriginal Affairs. She was Assistant Director of the Aborigines Advancement League before moving to the public sector. where she worked for 16 years at a senior level within Federal and State Government departments managing Aboriginal Affairs. She has held numerous directorships in Indigenous Affairs and the tourism industry. In 2003 Lois received a Centenary Medal for her work in Indigenous Tourism.
Lois is on a range of Indigenous community organisations, a member of the Centre for Strategic Education, Indigenous Education Focus Group; Member of the Victorian Indigenous Education Network; Member of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee; and Chair of the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee. In June 2014, Lois was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. The award was made for her "significant service to the ?Indigenous community as an educator, advocate and role model”.
Australian marriage equality, young people and the racial politics of sexual progressivism in the Asian Century
Associate Professor Mary Lou Rasmussen
Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, Australia
Mary Lou Rasmussen is a leading scholar on the incorporation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) matters within educational research, within teacher education, and within school education. She is the author of Becoming Subjects (Routledge, 2006) and co-editor of Youth and Sexualities (Palgrave, 2004) and The Politics of Pleasure in Sexuality Education: Pleasure Bound.
Marriage equality is increasingly read as a barometer of a nation’s sexual progressivism. Australian politicians have situated Australia as more or less progressive than neighbours in our region – based on our stance on marriage equality. Young people figure in these debates in a variety of contradictory ways: as increasingly non-religious; as supporters of marriage equality; as in need of protection from marriage equality; as fleeing from Asian neighbours to a more progressive Australia. This paper traces relationships between young people, racial politics and sexual progressivism in order complicate the storying of Australia as the champion of sexual progress in the Asian Century?.
Ideological Constructions of the Asian Youth and the Asian Century
Professor Fazal Rizvi
Professor in Education at the University of Melbourne, as well as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Fazal Rizvi has written extensively on globalisation and education policy, issues of identity, difference and culture in transnational contexts, Indian higher education and Australia–Asia relations. His most recent books include Globalising Education Policy (Routledge (2010) and Encountering Education in a Global Era (Routledge 2014)??.
The idea of the Asian century has become commonplace in Australian popular imaginary. In policy circles, it is widely used, most notably in the Henry Report (2012). In this paper, Fazal examines the ideological construction of the idea of the Asian century against the backdrop of the complex history of Australia–Asia relations. He also discusses how this construction has the potential to shape popular perceptions in Australia of young people in Asia, trapping them within a consumerist logic. In this logic, the Asian middle class youth emerges as a heroic figure, economically and politically useful to our strategic interests.
Young People, Education and Social Justice in the Asian Century
Professor Julie McLeod
Deputy Director, Melbourne University Social Equity Institute; a Professor at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education; and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2012–2016).
Julie McLeod's research areas encompass youth and gender studies, curriculum history, feminism, gender equity and education. She is currently working on a genealogy of adolescence, citizenship and schooling (1930s–1970s) and a history of school design and pedagogical innovation.
?This presentation explores the politics of social justice and young people in the contemporary era from the perspective of feminist debates about ‘affective equality’, the ethics of care, and relational responsibility. It argues that there is an urgency to reposition responsibility as a productive orientation and practice, especially in light of the rise of the neo-liberal, self-responsible individual and associated critiques. It outlines some approaches for rethinking responsibility, drawing out its fundamental link to social justice as a relational and affective pursuit and practice. The social circumstances of precarity bring new challenges into view for how educational institutions and the youth sector might address the multiple dimensions of social justice and respond to a pervasive sense of vulnerability, including the accompanying opportunities and demands for care, interdependence and responsibility – towards others, not only the self – that this calls forth.