RETENTION: PERSPECTIVES OF INDIGENOUS STUDENTS STUDYING A TEACHER EDUCATION COURSE
Many urban and semi-rural Aboriginal people in Australia today want to make a difference and improve not only their own lives but the lives of other members of the Indigenous population. One of the ways to do this is through education. By training to become a teacher, Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders can have a real impact on the outcomes of their students, as well as on the wider community through providing specialized knowledge and information about Aboriginal culture. This paper presents a comparison of University retention of Indigenous and non Indigenous students across Australia followed by a localized cross sectional analysis of the reflections on goals and motivation by a group of Indigenous student teachers enrolled in years 1-4 in a Bachelor of Education program at one University. There will be a discussion of initial and changing goals and the tensions between study, work, family commitments, what drives students to persevere and achieve, which is reflected in retention and completion rates.