Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Asia Pacific Education Review






School of Education / Centre for People, Place and Planet




Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL


Wooltorton, S., Guenther, J., Poelina, A., Blaise, M., Collard, L., & White, P. (2022). Learning regenerative cultures: Indigenous nations in higher education renewal in Australia. Asia Pacific Education Review, 23, 639-651.


What is regenerative learning in Australian higher education? This paper addresses the intersecting crises of climate, species loss and injustice; often called a conceptual emergency. We tackle the problem of disciplinary compartmentalisation, preventing integration of important related concepts. The particular case is separation of the Australian Curriculum Cross-curriculum Priorities at school and university for teaching, learning and research purposes. We are concerned with two of the three: sustainability, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. The project generates significant conceptual linkages, which strengthen sustainability with Indigenous histories and cultures. The linked concepts have the potential to re-centre Indigenous knowledge systems and knowledge holders in Australian higher education for sustainability. The interconnectedness facilitates learning of, for and through regenerative cultures, which are healing and wellbeing-oriented. Centring Indigenous histories, concepts and wisdom in sustainability education will reveal deeper meanings such as communicative ways of understanding worlds. These have multiple applications in teaching and learning, and improved outcomes in practice. Each case study presented in this paper utilises a decolonising, regenerative research method for answering research questions. The methods challenge Western, colonising power relationships that continue to act upon Indigenous lived experience; enable communicative relations with more than human worlds and are transformative. Together, they value experience, the collective, being creative, narrative, justice, ways of knowing and responding to sentient, animate places. In this paper, decolonising ways of working towards regenerative futures foreground Indigenous ways of knowing, being, valuing and doing, revealing Indigenous knowledge making for contemporary contexts.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.