Hope Street: From Voice to Agency for Care-Leavers in Higher Education

Jacqueline Z. Wilson, Philip Mendes, Frank Golding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In the early 1980s, one of the authors became an adolescent ward of the State of Victoria, Australia, and went into out-of-home care. While in care, repeated encounters with researchers, journalists and policy-makers left her disillusioned as to the efficacy and relevance of their activities, in that although she was sporadically provided with a ‘voice’, this did little to bridge the divide between their world of privilege and the non-privileged world of the subject of their attentions. The article argues that this divide is perpetuated long after people leave care as adults, and that a mere ‘voice’ is not enough – what is needed is agency, in the design and execution of research. This can be achieved through extended education, depending in turn on an inclusive culture shift within institutions of higher learning. The article utilises the author's personal experience as a brief case study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalLife Writing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • academic privilege
  • Care leavers
  • insider research
  • power
  • youth homelessness

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