Articulating the Voices of Australian Geographically Isolated Remote Education Tutors

In 2021 our team conducted a national survey that attracted close to 600 Remote Education Tutors (RETs) who shared their experiences and perceptions of the work they do in this role. These workers are often recognised as Govies or Home Tutors, and they are the conduit between the school of distance education and the students enrolled in these schools. The survey findings identified that whilst the majority of these RETs do not have teaching credentials nor are studying to be a teacher, they are indisputably fulfilling an educator’s role. Using the findings of the survey, we conducted the second phase of the Capricornia Project research that involved interviewing eight RETs working on geographically isolated properties in Central Queensland.

The cornerstone of the interviews with the participants was their conversation about their distinctive experiences living and working with the children in the schoolroom on the property. One participant stated that the value of this project is emphasised by the researchers’ preparedness to visit the properties and talk directly to the participants. It is anticipated that our continued research will result in an initial but essential first step toward developing a career pathway for RETs with a recognised knowledge base and skillset.

Highly Commended Category: Research Excellence Award Dr Karen Peel