Despite growing scholarly interest in student voice and leadership over the past two decades, both terms continue to be used with little consensus about their meaning. They are also often evoked without much clarity or agreement as to how they should be enabled or enacted, for what purposes they should be fostered, or what conditions are necessary for them to take place. This article asks: ‘what are student voice and leadership, and how can they best be fostered in schools to enable disengaged or marginalized students?’ Drawing on the evaluation of a successful Indigenous leadership program in Australia, which works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, this discussion unpacks certain constituent parts of student voice and leadership, and explores how they can successfully be strengthened through an educational program, and the challenges arising at the interface of the program and school life.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
- cultural identity
- Indigenous youth participation
- Student leadership
- student voice