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AsstProf Jessa Rogers

Jess Rogers 2Position

Assistant Professor

PhD (Indigenous Studies/Creative Arts), ANU
MEd (Guidance & Counselling), USQ
BCI (Drama), QUT
BEd (Secondary)(1stClassHons), QUT

Contact details

Tel: +61 6201 2324


Jessa has a breadth of experience as an educator, having worked as a teacher in primary and secondary schools, then as a school principal opening an Indigenous girls’ boarding school in Far North Queensland for teenage mothers and their children. Jessa’s PhD explored Aboriginal and Māori girls’ contemporary boarding school experiences in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand through photoyarn, an Indigenous arts-based method she developed. Prior to commencing as an Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra, Jessa was Course Coordinator in postgraduate Indigenous education and Indigenous research courses at Macquarie University and previously lectured in education at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and at the University of Canberra in Indigenous Studies. She also worked in the Centre for Aboriginal Policy and Economic Research (CAEPR) at the Australian National University.

Jessa worked as an Executive Teacher with the ACT Education Directorate creating the ACT’s first cultural curriculum embedding Ngunnawal culture in schools over the next few years. Jessa has been recognised through numerous awards including QUT Young Alumnus of the Year 2016,  the ANU Vice Chancellor’s Staff Award for Reconciliation, the ANU Postgraduate Student of the Year Award, and the Minoru-Hokari Scholarship. In 2010, Jessa was the National NAIDOC Young Person of the Year and she now sits on the National NAIDOC Committee.

Jessa is a registered teacher in the ACT, Queensland, and New Zealand holding professional memberships with the Australian College of Educators and the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. A creative artist, Jessa’s undergraduate degrees in drama, and film, television and new media at QUT added to her experience as a musician, vocalist and dancer. Jessa continues her visual art practice in ink work and photography. As a Registered Provider of Professional Learning with the ACT Government Teacher Quality Institute (TQI), Jessa continues her role as an independent presenter and consultant in the area of Indigenous education and Indigenous research with students in schools.

Research interests

  • Indigenous research methods and methodologies
  • Creative arts research practices
  • Arts-led research
  • Māori research methodologies
  • Creative arts pedagogy
  • Girls education
  • Creative and performing arts pedagogy in schools

Personal website:

Twitter: @jessa_rogers

Academic Publications

(Forthcoming) Price, K. & Rogers, J. (eds.) (2018) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education: An Introduction to the Profession. 3rd Ed. Cambridge University Press.

(Forthcoming) R. Churchill, P. Ferguson, S. Godinho, N. Johnson, A. Keddie, W. Letts, K. Lowe, J. Mackay, M. McGill, J. Moss, M. Nagel, J. Rogers, K. Shaw. (2018). Teaching: Making a Difference. (4th ed.). Wiley.

2017 Rogers, J. (2017). “Photoyarn: Developing a New Arts-Based Method”, In Burnard, P., Ross, V., Minors, H., Powell, K., Dragovic, T & Mackinlay, E. (eds.) Building Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Bridges: Where Theory Meets Research and Practice. BIBACC Publishing.

2017 Rogers, J. (2017). “Resisting and Re-Educating: Teaching the Teacher in Tertiary Australian Indigenous Education”, in Whitinui, P., McIvor, O. & and Rodriguez de France, C. (eds.) Promising Practices in Indigenous Teacher Education. Springer.

2017 Rogers, J. (2017). Photoyarn: Aboriginal and Maori Girls Researching Boarding Experiences. Australian Aboriginal Studies Journal. Vol 1, pp. 4-14.

2016 Rogers, J. (2016). Boarding School Business: Exploring Aboriginal Girls’ Boarding Experiences Through Photoyarn. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues. Vol. 19, No. 1-2, pp. 102-116.

2016 Rogers, J. (2016). “Education.” in Price, K. (Ed.), Knowledge of Life. Cambridge University Press.

Conference papers

2017 The Use of Yarning and Photography to explore Maori and Aboriginal Boarding Experiences. World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Indigenous Education (WIPCE), Toronto, CAN.

2016 Photoyarn: Exploring Maori and Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Boarding School Experiences. BIBAC16 (Building Interdisciplinary Bridges Across Cultures), University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

2015 Aboriginal Women in Boarding Schools: Giving Voice to Student Experiences. Indigenous Content in Education Symposium, University of South Australia, Adelaide, AUS

2014 Indigenous Girls in Education: Connections and Colonisation. East-West Center, University of Hawai’i Mānoa, USA

2013 Contemporary Australian Indigenous Identity. Symposium on Racial Identity, HUNAP, Harvard University, USA

2011 Indigenous Success in Education, Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee Conference, Gold Coast, AUS

Media Articles

2017 Rogers, J. (2017). We need to know the true cost of Indigenous boarding scholarships on Indigenous communities. The Conversation.

2017 Rogers, J. (2017). Seats at the table: our voices need to be heard. National Indigenous Television Online.

2017 Rogers, J. (2017).  Why are Aboriginal young women not making it in the Academy? Times Higher Education.  

2015 Rogers, J. (2015).  Australia desperately needs more Indigenous teachers. Our students deserve it. The Guardian.

2014 Rogers, J. (2014). Natural beauty, manufactured opulence: vistas of Hawai'i. Asia-Pacific News.

2013 Rogers, J. (2013). The National Curriculum: knowing the truth about Australia’s history. Reconciliation Australia.

Book reviews

2017 Roy, D., Hamilton, A. & Baker, B. (Forthcoming). Teaching the Arts. Cambridge University Press


2016 Walker, Natalie, Rogers, Jessa and Grant, Jocelyn,
Evaluation of the Young Carers Bursary Program for the Department of Social Services, Australian Government, Inside Policy.

2015 Rogers, Jessa and Biddle, Nicholas, Stuck in the Middle: Boarding Experiences in Australia, Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education.

2015 Buckskin, Peter, Price, Kaye and Rogers, Jessa, More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative Examples of Outstanding Practice in Indigenous School Leadership, University of South Australia.

2014 Biddle, Nicholas and Rogers, Jessa, Evaluation of the Narragunnawali Reconciliation Australia Schools Program, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Canberra.


Emma Whettingsteel BA (Hons1) Inter. Arch.
PhD Provisional Candidate, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University
“Is there a relationship between the experience of female Aboriginal students transitioning from regional and remote Western Australia into Perth boarding schools and their built environment?”


2017 Fulbright Scholarship
AUS-US Fulbright Commission

2016 Postgraduate Student of the Year
Australian National University

2016 Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year
Queensland University of Technology

2014 ANU Indigenous Australian Reconciliation PhD Scholarship

2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Award for Reconciliation
Australian National University

2010 NAIDOC National Youth of the Year Award
National NAIDOC Committee


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium

Australian College of Educators

Australian Council of Educational Leaders

New Zealand Education Council (Full NZ Teaching Registration)

ACT Teacher Quality Institute (Full ACT Teaching Registration)

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

National Tertiary Education Union

Queensland College of Teachers (2010 – 2017)