Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching (Honours) BA/BTch (Hons)


Education & Science



First Advisor

Phil Fitzsimmons

Second Advisor

Jane Fernandez




Aboriginal Australians of mixed descent is an increasing phenomenon within the twenty-first century. At the same time, a review of literature reveals that mainstream Australian society tends to view Aboriginality in terms of a "fixed" set of cultural practices and physical attributes. These stereotypes can create a major identity crisis for mixed heritage Aboriginal Australians, who may not outwardly appear Aboriginal, but who wish to declare their Aboriginality. In order to explore the nature of this particular Indigenous identity crisis, this study utilizes a narrative analysis (King & Horrocks, 2010) approach by gathering and analyzing data from Sally Morgan's autobiographical text, My Place (1987). A secondary focus is placed on narrative self-analysis (Loughran Hamilton, & Lobesky, 2004) through the process of personal reflection. By way of emergent design (Creswell & Clark, 2010), this study also filters the narrative analysis (King & Horrocks, 2009) and self-narrative analysis (Louhran et al., 2004) through Gee's (2000) theory of identity. This study finds that Aboriginals have a "Nature-Identity" that has the potential to be "Othered" through the function of the Institution, Discourse and Affinity-Identities outlined by Gee (2000). However, by way of emergent design (Creswell & Clark, 2010), this study also finds that Aboriginals who are experiencing an identity crisis may be able to articulate their Nature-Identities through a process I term "Self-Awareness Identity". This form of identity opens up a new way of examining "place" within the context of Aboriginal identity. In addition, this study suggests that the education system can play a pertinent role in alleviating the mixed heritage Indigenous identity crisis by implementing a series of key recommendations outlined in the conclusion of this study.


A print copy of this thesis is held in the Avondale College Library (SC Theses 305.89915 B21).