Reconciliation and Transformation through Mutual Learning:
Outlining a Framework for Arts-based Service Learning
with Indigenous Communities in Australia
Griffith University, Australia
University of Sydney
University of Western Sydney
Citation: Bartleet, B. L., Bennett, D., Marsh, K., Power, A., & Sunderland, N.
(2014). Reconciliation and transformation through mutual learning: Outlining a
framework for arts-based service learning with Indigenous communities in
International Journal of Education & the Arts, 15(Number 8). Retrieved [date] from
Service learning is described as a socially just educational process that develops two-way
learning and social outcomes for community and student participants. Despite the focus on
mutuality in service learning, very little of this literature specifically deals with the intense
importance of mutuality and reciprocity when working with Indigenous community partners
and participants. This is problematic for Indigenous service learning projects that seek to
partner respectfully with Indigenous communities in Australia and elsewhere. To address this
issue, the paper draws on existing international literature and data from an Indigenous arts
based service learning project conducted in the Northern Territory of Australia to propose a
framework centred on relationships, reciprocity, reflexivity and representation that can be
adapted for future Indigenous service learning partnerships and research.
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