Margaret Dooley Emerging Indigenous Writer Fellowship

Ohhh my gosh – What a busy, fun, and daunting few weeks!

This year I have decided to open myself up to more new experiences, so it is very exciting to share this news 🙂

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I am the very fortunate recipient of the Margaret Dooley Emerging Indigenous Writer Fellowship for 2018! This means I will be a regular, paid columnist for the next twelve months, with IndigenousX and EurekaStreet! I am so excited to develop my writing in a non-academic space, and to be able to share my academic experiences and musings in a way which will be accessible to more by way of language and cost. My writing for the fellowship is completely independent to my academic/research/PhD role, and is something which I am able to do without cutting back on my existing academic workload.
I have never been a recipient of a fellowship before, or written for a public platform apart from my blogs and social media, so I had to do a few things I have never done before which I thought I would share on here as they’re part of this baby academic journey.

1.    I needed to provide a headshot!
I have never had work headshots before, now that I think about it I probably should have done this a while ago for work emails and LinkedIn…

This was a DIY $0 job

a) I just stalked the Twitters of people whose headshots I remembered liking (Marcia Langton’s, Leanne Fray’s, and Lynore K. Geia’s were some of them)…
b) then browsed pinterest.
c) Once I knew the look I was going for I showed the pics I liked to my Husband, grabbed a few things from my wardrobe, and then we went to a park where we knew there was a white building.
d) Hubby took the photographs for me on our entry level camera, (we paid around $400 for it over two years ago now and it serves us well).
e) We don’t have any editing software at present (our home PC computer crashed, and my PhD laptop is a Mac) so we are lucky we chose a good day (overcast), in the late afternoon for soft, clear lighting. I have lowered the res for this blog.

These pics were taken all within an hour of each other, I just changed my shirts – same make up, hair etc. I probably shouldn’t share that, buuut I am going to, so if you are also a poor starter professional, you can see how cheap and simple it can be Easy, no cost, and I am happy with the results.

2. I got asked to give a comment for a news article being run on the fellowship. This was kind of hilarious, because I received the request while I was at a pub having a drink with a colleague, as we were traveling for work together and it had been an intense (INTENSE) day. They needed the comment from me that night, and I have never done anything like this, so as simple as a request it may have been, I had A LOT of anxiety about it.

It was published last week and can be read here: Books and Publishing


3. Time is flying, I am almost ready for my PhD confirmation, the draft is with my supervisors right now, so I haven’t had time to blog – but enough time has passed since it being announced that I was the fellowship recipient, and now, that I have written my first article for the fellowship, and it was published yesterday!

You can read it here: EurekaStreet

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SUCH a big few weeks!


I have a huge respect for both IndigenousX and EurekaStreet, their aims, and the writers that contribute to the platform, so to have the opportunity to contribute is a real thrill and honour.

As someone who rarely feels like I have my sh*t together, it is really lovely, and special to have these opportunities, and I feel really fortunate to be in this space, The response and support I have received from other Indigenous academics, and activists, and the lovely people I have connected with via Twitter and from various higher education events has been really heart warming. That might sound a bit lame, but academia can be a very competitive space, and also just a really intense space because of the nature of what we do, but I feel really uplifted and surrounded especially by fellow Indigenous academics and it just makes me feel really grounded and happy. This comment on Twitter is one of my favourites of those I saw around the announcement of the fellowship, it is by Professor Dennis Roy McDermott, who is a psychologist, poet, and person I have a great respect for. Being called a rounded human, by a psychologist, and Indigenous academic, I dunno, it just really hit me. Maybe the best compliment I have ever received.

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Now, I get that it might seem like hella-big-ego to screenshot a kind comment about me, but this PhD journey, and becoming increasingly positioned in a way which puts me ‘out there’ can be anxiety inducing, and a general roller coaster of experience. I keep tabs on the positive comments, and remind myself of the strong encouragers who believe in me, because while I am on a high right now, I know I will be stressing before I publish my next article. Or as I approach confirmation. Or when I send the paper I am working on to the journal I am targeting. Gotta remember the positives, and the community I have around me. I am not doing this alone.

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Hugh Kearns has a way of capturing the journey in easy to understand ways.

Hugh Kearns has a way of capturing & communicating the PhD journey in easy to understand ways.

My parents are not really ‘online’ and my articles are being published online, but my older sister read the article to them, and then they all rang me to tell me how they loved it and were really excited by how I had written in a way that they felt ‘anyone’ (meaning not ‘just’ academics) could understand it. That means a lot to me. I will be fifty and still chuffed to know my parents and family are proud of me.

This journey continues to be a wild ride, but the more familiar I become with higher education, research, activism, and the PhD experience, the more I am able to enjoy it and feel BRAVE…well, braver.

Try new things, it will be scary, but try them anyway!


Amy x

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