Community-based service-learning (PhD research)

Thesis title: “It’s about dignity not dependency”: Reciprocal relationships in undergraduate community-based service-learning

Supervisors: Associate Professor Kate Lloyd and Associate Professor Sandie Suchet-Pearson

Completed: 2015


Drawing on postcolonial and critical feminist literature, the thesis explores questions of reciprocity within community-based service-learning (CBSL). Specifically, it analyses the perspectives of Indigenous community-based organisations in Sabah, Malaysia and Indigenous tour operators in the Northern Territory, Australia that were hosting students through Macquarie University’s Professional and Community Engagement initiative (PACE). In doing so, the thesis challenges a paternalistic understanding of service and one-way action that underpins many conventional practices, and moves beyond a two-way understanding of reciprocity that governs more critical approaches to community engagement. Instead, reciprocity is reconceptualised as multi-directional and multi-dimensional thereby acknowledging the complex, dynamic, power-laden, relational and contextual nature of relationships within CBSL.

Hammersley, L.A. (2015). “It’s about dignity not dependency”: Reciprocal relationships in undergraduate community-based service-learning. (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation) Macquarie University.

Hammersley, L.A. (2016). Language matters: reciprocity and its multiple meanings. In. J. Sachs and L. Clark (Eds.). Learning through community engagement: Vision and practice in higher education. Macquarie University. Springer

Hammersley, L.A, Bilous, R., James, S., Trau, A., & Suchet-Pearson, S. (2014). Challenging ideals of reciprocity in undergraduate teaching: the unexpected benefits of unpredictable cross-cultural fieldwork. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 38(2), 208-218.

Hammersley, L.A. (2012). Community based service-learning: Partnerships of reciprocal exchange? Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN), Deakin University, Geelong, Vic, 29-2 Nov 2012.