Completing a thesis.
A decade-long journey.
As you may know, I recently handed in my final thesis in fourth-year Psychology last week. It’s certainly been one of the biggest challenges of my life of recent. Thestory begins quite a long time ago. A decade ago in fact. In 2012, I made the very difficult decision to leave halfway through my fourth year in a Bachelor of Psychology so I could work full-time and support my family. Luckily, the work was at a company where I performed well, formed great friendships and had some great perks. I worked there for a few years before pursuing other opportunities.
In the time since then, my mother is happier than ever, and my brothers are both pursuing their own dreams. This meant that I was able to make the decision, after almost a decade, to go back to near full-time study and complete what i started. i was so determined to complete my thesis.
While studying, the year also saw me juggle multiple jobs, arts projects, sitting on board and committees and caring for family and community, while trying to attend to my mental health. All of this makes me all the more proud that i was able to submit my thesis. I honestly didn’t think this would or could ever happen.
The process of completing the thesis made me question so many things. It wasn’t lost on me that I was conducting research on (de)coloniality within a University, the kind of institution which has been observed to be ‘the ultimate expression of colonial power’, or that i was a settler-migrant writing about (de)cjholoniality. In the end, I found a way to navigate these tensions as best I could.
I don’t think this could have been possible without the support of those who came before me to allow me the privilege of education. Or for First Nation’s Elders who i’m so humbled to hear the stories of, who speak to the impacts of colonisation in so-called Australia. I felt like my research project was one that was waiting to be written by me, based of the hundreds of conversations about colonialism in this country and how it affects communities. For First Nation’s Elders, scholars, peers and friends - thank you for your insights and wisdom. I don’t think I would have had the criticality I needed without the knowledge you shared.
The research topic as you might know was “Young people’s conceptualisations of coloniality, settler-colonial narratives, and violence in ‘Post-Colonial' Australia’. It was a qualitative study in the field of Psychology, within the Curtin School of Population Health.
Soon enough, I hope to share the main findings of the study with you here soon once viable, so hopefully, you get to hear about it soon so that we may discuss.
With love and care,