How our academics are building a brighter future: Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar

Murdoch University's Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar

This is a shared journey that welcomes anyone who wants to make the world a better place. Meet Dr Audrey Fernandes-Satar from our School of Education.

An educator with a passion for social justice, Dr Fernandes-Satar is committed to teaching that makes a positive impact. 

Arriving in Australia as a qualified secondary Arts Teacher with two young children a few years after her family came as refugees from Mozambique, Dr Fernandes-Satar soon found herself working at a local high school in Fremantle.  

“The school had many migrant and refugee students; I was involved with a social justice project with my students and featured in the local newspaper.” 

After being invited to guest lecture at Murdoch, Dr Fernandes-Satar then decided to continue her studies at the university, completing a Master of Education and then her PhD. 

Teachers have the opportunity to help shape the next generation, create new leaders and decision makers, or help students forge their own path and for Dr Fernandes-Satar, Murdoch University’s strategy of Ngala Kwop Biddi Building a Brighter Future, Together means teaching in a way that gives expression to many voices, making a positive impact, challenging racism, poverty and prejudice.  

It was this passion that led Dr Fernandes-Satar to collaborate with Murdoch University’s Tania Corbett to create an educational program, the Lil’ Tan project, which uses Tania’s perspective and observations to provide materials that can be used for future educators provide a better experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.  

Tania has worked for Murdoch University in various roles for over 20 years and has worked closely with Dr Fernandes-Satar for many years. Tania brings her lived experiences to this project, which combines storytelling with SimLab technology, an immersive platform that gives students and pre-service educators the opportunity to experience, practice and improve their teaching techniques in a safe learning environment. 

“I’m working on an Indigenous “avatar”, which will look like me when I was a younger. The scenarios will be based on issues I experienced when I was at primary school,” Tania said. 

This will provide a unique cultural experience that future teachers can learn from in a simulated classroom, to help prepare them for a range of scenarios they may encounter as teachers once they graduate.  

This is a Social Justice project, a powerful project where Tania Corbett’s voice is heard as she articulates key critical incidents.” Dr Fernandes-Satar.

By drawing on First Nations People’s knowledge, culture, language, family and perspectives, Dr Fernandes-Satar and Tania are working to ensure inclusive and respectful teaching practices.  

Dr Fernandes-Satar is also involved in research focused on culturally diverse teaching methods.  

“As a woman of colour who came to study at Murdoch and who had many first languages that were not only English, it has taken me a long time to understand and name my own voice and gain the agency to declare it,” she said. 

“My investigations have led me to re-conceptualise Western terms and practices such as critical thinking, with Eastern practices and philosophies. I will be implementing strategies (pedagogy of change), in my unit where the majority of students are international students.”  

When she isn’t busy teaching or diving into her many research projects, Dr Fernandes-Satar can be found working on various community art projects for schools as she is also a practicing visual artist.  

We are on a shared journey to a brighter future. Learn more.
Posted on:

27 Feb 2024

Share this article:

More in this series