It is crucial that we understand our history to ensure the prosperity of our future.
Kathleen is a Wiradjuri woman from Gulgong in NSW. As a Roberta Sykes Harvard Scholar, she is undertaking a PhD in African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Kathleen was awarded the 2013 Roberta Sykes Harvard Club Scholarship, jointly funded by the Foundation and the Harvard Club of Australia. Her research focuses on the intersection of racial identity and music in the Lower Mississippi Valley in the early 20th century.
Kathleen began her university studies through the Yapug Bridging Course at University of Newcastle (UoN) in 2008 and went on to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law degree. In 2011, Kathleen was awarded a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction, along with the Sarah Wheeler Prize for outstanding results in History.
Kathleen's own experience of higher education has provided her with insight into the problems many Indigenous students are confronted with while undertaking tertiary studies. She wants to be a part of the movement that helps overcome the legacy of decades of negative policies and to help reclaim their autonomy and resist succumbing to negative stereotypes. To do this, she believes it is important to have Indigenous academics throughout university disciplines, not just within Indigenous Studies departments.
I am looking at the history of racial passing the American West, utilising folklore, music and oral histories to present a kaleidoscope of local conditions and reactions.