Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Australian Research Council
ARC Number : LP0668220
This paper is based in the experience of an in-depth industrial ethnography with an Australian public transport organisation. The ethnographer began by undertaking the 12‐week transit officer training program and moved into a behind‐the‐scenes role watching CCTV footage of their duties and activities for a further 4 weeks before the organisation allowed her to go ‘on the tracks’. Once full participation alongside the transit officer workforce had been agreed, the ethnographer spent four months rostered into a late night work schedule alongside her research participants. This in‐the‐role experience was augmented by 41 in-depth semi‐structured interviews. It was followed up with a research trip to investigate best practice in public transport security procedures and training in Australia and overseas (principally the UK, USA and Canada). The paper recommends using CCTV footage of incidents on the line as an important component of authentic, work--‐based learning and touches upon the culture change required to deploy these resources.