Soenke Biermann BIndigS (SCU), BA(Hons)(SCU) 

Soenke Biermann grew up in northern Germany where he worked as an environmental educator,
before migrating to Australia in 2001. After some travelling, he found a new home in the
Northern Rivers region on the far north coast of NSW. Soenke is currently a PhD candidate
and casual academic staff member in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Southern
Cross University. He is an enthusiastic and passionate teacher in a number of first-year
cultural studies and history units in the BA. 

Soenke’s research is trans-disciplinary in scope, dipping in and out of cultural studies,
education, history and indigenous studies. In his current PhD research, he is exploring
decolonising pedagogies and their power to bring about intellectual, social and
environmental transformation. Soenke has presented his research at various conferences,
contributed a chapter to an edited book and published a number of peer-reviewed journal
articles. He has also co-authored papers and co-presented at conferences with staff from
SCU’s Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples. 

Soenke has a strong interest in cultural diversity and student equity. To this end, he
has initiated, chaired and been a member of various staff/student committees organising
multicultural and Indigenous events. Together with a team of colleagues in the
humanities, Soenke has also been involved in a number of higher education equity support
programs (HEESP), including coordinating the highly successful “Thinking Diversity –
Beyond Tolerance” project in 2007. In recognition of the ongoing positive impact of their
work, the team received a Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to
Student Learning in 2008. 

Soenke holds a Bachelor of Indigenous Studies from SCU and in 2008 completed his BA
Honours thesis which explored the possibilities of engaging Indigenous pedagogies to
effect educational change for all people. He is passionate about working together in, and
for, a diverse, just and sustainable society. Soenke lives in and around Lismore with his
partner and their two young children. 

Journal articles


Into the borderlands: unruly pedagogy, tactile theory and the decolonising nation (with Robert Garbutt and Baden Offord), Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies (2012)

Modern Australia has been defined as an immigrant nation, a settler society that is located...



Sharing knowledge, sharing experience, sharing power (with Glenn Woods), Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues (2009)

There is an urgent need to move the dialogue about Indigenous education beyond short-sighted ethnocentric...



Indigenous pedagogies and environmental education: starting a conversation, International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning (2008)

As part of the process of developing transformative pedagogies in the 21st century, the important...



Indigenous pedagogy as a force for change (with Marcelle Townsend-Cross), Australian Journal of Indigenous Education (2008)

IndIgenous academics over the past decade and a half have been focusing strongly, in terms...


Book chapters

Knowledge, power and decolonization: implication for non-indigenous scholars, researchers and educators, Indigenous philosophies and critical education: a reader (2011)

Cultural studies in action: principled socially inclusive pedagogy and higher education equity projects (with Robert George Garbutt and Baden Offord), Learning, teaching and social justice in higher education (2010)

Being human in the classroom: human rights education and indigenous pedagogy, Activating human rights in education: exploration, innovation, transformation. College Year Book 2008 (2008)

Book reviews



Indigenous pedagogies for decolonisation: listening for resonance and making connections, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW (2008)

The dominant discourse of Indigenous education in Australia has constructed an Indigenous subject that is...


Conference publications

Found in translation: differences, tolerance and enriching diversity, Activating Human Rights and Peace: Universal Responsibility Conference 2008 Conference Proceedings (2008)

In her insightful book Ornament of the World, Maria Rosa Menocal describes medieval Andalusia where...