The Equity Pathways Working Group of the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project Community of Practice has written a report aimed at lifting the number of Indigenous applicants for Honours and postgraduate psychology study.
The report, Guidance in Creating Honours (Fourth Year) and Postgraduate Equity Pathways in Tertiary Psychology for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Applicants, has been published by AIPEP.
The working group, chaired by Associate Professor Jeneva Ohan (UWA) and Dr Stacey McMullen (University of Newcastle), writes: “There is significant desire and need to make psychology programs more accessible to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students.
“This is especially the case at Honours and Postgraduate levels, where ‘bottlenecks’ are often met.
“Historically, psychology and psychologists have played a key role in practices and policies that have detracted from and been detrimental to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples’ social and emotional wellbeing.
“There is a national movement within the discipline toward righting this wrong.
“Increasing the number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander psychology graduates, and hence the number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander psychologists, will play a crucial role in ensuring that Indigenous voices contribute to the national conversation on psychology and the direction of psychological training and practice in Australia.”
The report notes that in 2021, the proportion of Indigenous students enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses in Australia was 1.8 per cent, compared to population representation of about 3 per cent.
This disparity widens at the postgraduate level, where Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students comprise 0.97 per cent and 1.35 per cent of students enrolled in postgraduate coursework and research degrees, respectively.