Launching a new open access era for Australian Journal of Indigenous Education

5 August 2022

Editors, contributors, reviewers and supporters came together recently (28 July) to launch the Australian Journal of Indigenous Education (AJIE) as an open access publication, with its first volume on a new website.

A launch event at the University of Queensland Art Museum involved Editors Professor Martin Nakata (JCU) and Professor Bronwyn Fredericks (UQ), along with Managing Editor Dr Katelyn Barney (UQ).

Dr Katelyn Barney and Professor Tracey Bunda at the launch of AJIE as an open access publication.

Published by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (ATSIS) Unit at UQ, the AJIE is an internationally-refereed journal which publishes papers and reports on the theory, method, and practice of Indigenous education. The journal welcomes articles that ground theoretical reflections and discussions in qualitative and quantitative studies, as well as examples of best practice with a focus on Indigenous education.

The journal started life in 1973 as The Aboriginal Child at School journal (originally funded by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in Canberra and housed in the Department of Education).

In 1996, The Aboriginal Child at School was transformed into The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, as a result of feedback from educators involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and also to reflect a broadening of the content of the journal to include international perspectives. It became a heavily subsidised production of UQ ATSIS Unit.

In 2003, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the journal, the decision was taken to relaunch AJIE as a peer-reviewed research journal to reflect changes in readership demand for quality work and to address dwindling contributions.

From 2012 to 2021, AJIE was published by Cambridge University Press. In 2022, AJIE begins an exciting new future as an open access scholarly publication.

“AJIE has played a vital role in raising awareness of educational issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; fostering debate amongst researchers, government representatives and community groups; and sharing stories of success between both Indigenous and non-Indigenous practitioners positioned in the broad area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education,” said Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at UQ.

“The dialogue which has taken place in AJIE over the past almost 50 years maps out the social, political and cultural history of Indigenous education in Australia, and draws attention to the shifting paradigms and practical outcomes.”

Professor Martin Nakata, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy at James Cook University, has been co-editing the journal since 2011 and has also published a number of AJIE articles.

Speaking online via Zoom, he remarked that the journal had grown in quality over the years and now attracted contributions from New Zealand, Canada, Africa, Tanzania, Taiwan, PNG and the Solomon Islands.

Professor Nakata heralded an “exciting new future with the open access format making the AJIE even more accessible”.