Service Learning in an Urban Aboriginal Community: “Real Aborigines Don’t Just Live in the Bush”

Michelle Johnston, Dawn Bennett, Bonita Mason, Chris Thomson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Service learning is gaining greater recognition in Australian universities as a powerful and effective means by which students can learn about Aboriginal peoples and cultures. Working in and with communities provides opportunities for students to form personal relationships with Aboriginal peoples that can have long-term benefits for all participants. One of the first steps in establishing a service-learning program will inevitably be to decide on a location. Is a service-learning program located in a remote Aboriginal community of more benefit to students than one located in an urban community? This chapter describes a service-learning program that was established for media students in collaboration with Aboriginal community groups in Perth, Western Australia. It discusses why an urban community was the answer to our question of where and how an urban service-learning program might build strong and lasting community relationships and provide a transformative learning experience for students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging First Peoples in Arts-Based Service Learning
Subtitle of host publicationTowards Respectful and Mutually Beneficial Educational Practices Editors (view affiliations)
EditorsBrydie-Leigh Bartleet, Dawn Bennett, Anne Power, Naomi Sunderland
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-22153-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-22152-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameLandscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education
ISSN (Electronic)2214-0069


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