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Reclaiming Feminism: EnGendering Change

A landmark national summit for Australian educators and policy makers  


This conference was hosted on 3-4 October, 2014.


In the 1980s Australia was admired, internationally, for its government sponsored feminist leadership. In the early 90s every Australian education department had a gender equity unit and there was active and explicitly feminist development and implementation of gender equity policy.  Over the past 30 years, however, the changing political climate has diminished feminist participation in the development of policies and programs in education, and feminists have been increasingly and variously silenced and marginalised.  



  • How is feminism relevant to young people, parents, educators and policy leaders today?   
  • Where are the spaces and opportunities for feminist influence on policy and practice in Australian education systems?
  • How can feminist approaches be promoted, embedded and sustained for long term social change?  





(More videos will be uploaded as editing is completed) 


Is there an app for where we are at? (Conference opening address) 

 Dale Spender wrote her PhD on women and men talking (published as Man Made Language), astonished to discover that men talked more, interrupted and ‘corrected’ more (98%) and defined the topic, in both the spoken and the written word! (And teachers spent more time talking with boys than girls), and has been talking and writing and teaching about the role that language plays in creating and maintaining power ever since - writing and editing 30 books, and giving more than 300 international keynote addresses. Dale has been an Adjunct Professor at James Cook University and the University of Queensland, a consultant on the digital revolution (and the education lag) and in the education of girls, the deputy chair of the Australian Society of Authors and of the State Library of Queensland, and has served on a variety of boards, currently of Second Chance – a charity which raises money for homeless women. In this presentation, Dale reflects on how many of the women’s libbers of the 1970s and 80s who actively campaigned for equal educational opportunity, entry to the workplace, and more political power, thought we had to start from scratch. Much time, effort and heartache would have been avoided if the work, writing and wisdom of the countless women who had for centuries been pushing open the doors, had been readily available to us. If we knew more about our history – the alarm bells would be ringing. We are still doing the economic ‘housework’ while men hold the seats of power. An education revolution for girls is now more necessary than ever. 



Educating for diversity and social justice  

Amanda Keddie is a Research Fellow at The University of Queensland. Her research interests and publications are in the field of gender, cultural diversity, social justice and schooling. Her fellowship project is entitled: Socially just schooling: a cross-cultural analysis of gender, cultural diversity and social change within Australia and the UK. She has published extensively in these areas. She is the author of Teaching Boys: Developing classroom practices that work (2007), Educating for diversity and social justice (2012) and Leadership, ethics and schooling for social justice (forthcoming, 2015). This presentation draws on material from Amanda’s recent book Educating for Diversity and Social Justice. The book foregrounds the personal stories of educators who are engaging the space of schooling as a site of possibility for realising the goals of social justice. Through practical examples from one of the case studies in her research; a Queensland school set up to support Indigenous girls, the seminar highlights the significance of a comprehensive social justice approach to supporting the schooling and social needs of marginalised girls. 






 Enquiries: awe1@bigpond.net.au