I enjoyed my drive down to Canberra for the AARE (Australian Association for Research in Education) to present my PhD findings for the first time to the public at the National Convention Centre. For the initial two days, I was inspired by Assoc. Prof. Lesley Rex’s eloquent keynote address (Michigan University) and Prof. Martin Westwell (Cambridge/Oxford University) combination of English humour and intellect, as they both lead the audience on an fascinating exploration of directions in research and education in Australia and overseas.

The delegates were all very friendly and happy to share stories about their ventures in NT Indigenous communities (Dr Wendy Giles) and those with similar research topics were eager to gather and share references or powerpoints to make the most of our commonalities – It was an enlightening experience!

After sufficient build-up, the time came to present my project to my new found colleagues…and thankfully, it was well-received. My Monash Supervisor, Assoc Prof. Helen Watt was in the audience for additional support but I managed to breeze through my explanations of graphs and stats without incident. I must say my return trip to Sydney through the flood plains on the outskirts of Canberra at sunset was filled with a combination of elation and relief.

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