HomeGuest Speakers

Idiom Vol 53 No1

Lucinda McKnight

X-rated English: Are the kids all right with the phallic teacher?

Small LucindaLucinda McKnight lectures in curriculum and pedagogy at Deakin University, and has taught English/Literacy methods at Deakin, Monash and RMIT. Her PhD study on English teachers’ curriculum planning has won several awards, including the 2016 inaugural ALEA award for an outstanding doctoral thesis with potential impact on the lives of English teachers. Lucinda has also worked as a producer in the educational publishing industry, gaining four ATOM awards for Commonwealth funded materials promoting inclusion in schools throughout Australia. She is an award winning playwright with her first play produced by London’s Encore Youth Theatre, and a published poet and playwright. She is also a former VATE Council member and former convenor of the State Conference planning committee.

In the following article, she reflects on the lecture she delivered, its impact on audience members, and offers further conversations on the issue through an email group she has established. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Jon Staley

About Lindsay

Small PI Jon Staley‘...about language and power and ownership and the spaces that sit between words’

Jon Staley is a producer, writer, director and social entrepreneur with a background in education, theatre and film. He has been involved in establishing the youth media social enterprise Youthworx—taking the seed idea of using creative media to engage highly marginalised young people and build a sustainable model. Over the past six years he has successfully overseen the development and production of over 200 commissioned short films while training and mentoring young people as film producers. Most recently he co-wrote and directed the short film Brown Paper Bag based on a story by Boori Monty Pryor.

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Osamah Sami

Making the kids ‘feel okay’ inside their skin

...in the face of blanket, dictated and didactic approaches to education which threaten to rob them of their individuality and dreams

Small PI Osamah SamiOsamah Sami is an Australian actor/writer/comedian born in war-torn Iran to Iraqi parents. He is recognised as a ‘notable Australian Muslim’ by the Commonwealth of Australia. He wrote the critically acclaimed memoir Good Muslim Boy and the script for Ali’s Wedding, Australia’s first ‘Muslim rom-com’ which opened the 2016 Adelaide Film Festival. As well as starring in Ali’s Wedding, he has appeared in Tony Ayres’ Saved and Mohammad Ghobankarimi’s Journey.

Delegates found Osamah’s ‘address’, as one put it, ‘entertaining and informative at the same time.’ Another described it as entertaining with some very poignant moments’. And another had not realized it was a performance but felt that the conference ‘needed more performance sessions like this.’

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Alison Ravenscroft and Mary Purcell

Literary perspectives

The creative possibilities of ‘crisis’—where crisis does not only mean danger and despair, but implies a critical point, a turning point, a crux

Med Alison Ravenscroft BWIn this joint presentation, the speakers consider how contemporary theories—in particular post humanism and queer—can suggest new modes of apprehending what it is to be human in ways that might give students new ways of seeing crisis and their own place in an unknown future, a future that is not what it used to be.

Alison Ravenscroft is Associate Professor in English at La Trobe University and Head of the Department of Creative Arts and English. She is the author of The Postcolonial Eye.

Smaller Mary PurcellMary Purcell teaches Literature and Philosophy at The Mac.Roberston Girls’ High School and is also a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. She is co–author, with Monika Wagner, of ‘Dialoguing identities and transnationalising the space of the Australian literature classroom’ in International Perspectives on the Teaching of Literature in Schools: Global Principles and Practices (eds. Andrew Goodwyn, Cal Durrant, Louann Reid and Lisa Scherff, Routledge).

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