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My research focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and pedagogy for pre-service teacher education

Dr Harry Van Issum is a Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Studies in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science. Harry seeks to equip pre-service teachers with the knowledge and skills required for their future careers in an environment where there is a great need for the curriculum to embrace and accommodate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies within the broader context of Australian society.

Harry’s teaching philosophy is grounded in high expectations whilst providing the tools for pre-service teachers to enable students to meet these expectations. His holistic approach to learning and teaching ensures that knowledge, responsibility, purpose and being are established through care and relationship building.

He has a deep commitment to reflection, using evaluation and the application of research design to his learning and teaching practice, effectively modelling professional teaching practice to his students. 


Dr Harry Van Issum

School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science

Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Studies

Fields of Expertise

  • Aboriginal Culture and History
  • Aboriginal Education and Pedagogy
  • Cross-Cultural Competencies
  • Studies of Indigenous Australia

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Harry presented at the South East Queensland Regional Naidoc Awards in 2016, Theme: Songlines-educational pathways.

Industry Experience

Harry trained as a secondary school teacher and taught within the Department of Education for several years before joining Griffith University.

He was a member of the state Queensland Indigenous Education Consultative Committee from 2010-2013 where he advised on policy direction for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in Queensland.

He has been involved in a number of consultancy projects working with community partners such as the Department of Education and Training to develop EATSIPS modules for pre-service teachers, the Department of Environment Community Heritage Program to work with Woppaburra traditional artefacts and stories and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on traditional custodian marine park management.

Research Expertise

Harry’s research expertise includes Aboriginal culture and history, Aboriginal education and pedagogy, and cross-cultural competencies. Research highlights include:

  • · (2014). Stories from our Elders. “Lanai”, Mackay, QLD: Not applicable.
  • · (2014). Embedding EATSIPS in a University Pre-service teaching program- Putting a little Black in the White. Paper delivered at the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education.
  • · (2013). An Aboriginal perspective on Education –Policy and Practice. In J., R., Sullivan, P, & Grootenboer, P. (Ed.), Pedagogies to Enhance Learning for Indigenous Students: Evidence-based Practice (pp. 1–20). Netherlands: Springer.
  • · (2013). Abstudy-beyond 2000- An analysis of changes and ongoing ramifications for Indigenous Students. Presented at the National Conference on Indigenous Education, Surfers Paradise (2013).
  • · (2013). Indigenous Australian family Perspectives- Acknowledging the Past, dealing with the present and healing for the future. Presented at the 5th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, Hilo, Hawaii (2013).

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