Dr José van den Akker is a postdoc researcher at the Research Centre for Learning, Equity, Access and Participation (LEAP) at CQ University in Rockhampton, QLD, Australia.
She is also a qualified transpersonal art therapist.
José completed her PhD ('Exploring and Working with the Dynamics in Cross-Cultural Education') in 2009. Her research interests have since somewhat shifted to the areas of migration, international education and migrants’ integration and inclusion. At present, she explores the barriers and facilitators that highly skilled Culturally and Linguistically Diverse female migrants encounter on their pathway to employment. In another research project, she facilitates art therapy workshops and researches the impact thereof on participants’ social wellbeing and resilience.
For both projects, José acquired funding from local and state governments.
José was born and raised in the Netherlands. There she developed deep interest and expertise in arts-based and experiential learning, organisational learning, cross-cultural education viewed from an organisational perspective, and community services development.
She has over 20 years of experience facilitating – mostly disadvantaged – individuals and groups of people in their personal and professional development. She has taught and worked in Australia and the Netherlands, supporting people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds, prisoners, youth at risk, long term unemployed people, homeless people and groups of women. She has also taught young Aboriginal students at an Aboriginal primary school in Yuendumu (NT). This experience, and additional experience in working with refugees, prompted her to do a PhD in cross-cultural education. José has also lectured and tutored Indigenous Australians at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University for five years, and was involved in research projects at the University of Western Sydney.
IA is dedicated to providing fearless, independent journalism, free for all, with no barriers. But we need your help. To keep us speaking truth to power, please consider donating to IA today - even a dollar will make a huge difference - or subscribe and receive all the benefits of membership. Keep ‘em honest. Support IA.