Live, Learn, Grow: An autoethnographic examination of the ‘navigator’ role supporting care leavers at an Australian university

Emily Fuller


Current research shows that Australians with out-of-home care backgrounds are less likely to commence and complete tertiary education, and more likely to be unemployed or employed in low paid roles. This paper focuses on a program at a regional university in Australia which was developed to address some of the barriers care leavers face in learning about, accessing and engaging with higher education. The discussion utilises an autoethnographic approach to highlight and explore the ‘navigator’ role which is part of the Live, Learn, Grow program. It investigates the program’s value in providing support for first year university students with a care experience and contextualises findings in relation to research outlining the supports available for care leavers in higher education, both in Australia and internationally.


higher education; out-of-home care leavers; student equity; widening participation; autoethnography

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Banner image: Kira Jovanovski (2020), movement score 01 (detail): oil stick and acrylic on paper. Photograph by Kira Jovanovski. Cover image: Kira Jovanovski (2020), grunt_iteration 02 in the boughs and stamped: installation in University Gallery. Photograph by Jedidiah Cranfield. (c) the artist.





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