Dr José van den Akker works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Centre for Learning, Equity, Access And Participation (LEAP) at CQUniversity. José completed her PhD (Exploring and Working with the Dynamics in Cross Cultural Education) in 2009. At present she seeks to explore how the use of national and transnational social networks and social media helps younger older Dutch migrants, who live in Western Australia and Queensland, to improve their social wellbeing and resilience.
José was born and raised in the Netherlands, and 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 with, for example, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, migrants with non-English speaking backgrounds, prisoners, youth at risk, long term unemployed people, homeless people and groups of women.
Her lifelong interest in working with Indigenous Australians has led her to teach Aboriginal primary school students in Yuendumu (NT), commence a PhD in cross-cultural education, and lecture and tutor at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University for many years.
Whilst doing her PhD study, José was involved in two Australian Research Council (ARC) funded research projects that respectively focused on migrant teachers in Australian schools and on female secondary students studying IT-related subjects. Since graduating for her PhD in 2009, whilst lecturing at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University, José initiated and developed five research projects in partnership with other researchers. Most of these projects focused on people’s health and wellbeing in education and community contexts.
During the whole of 2014, she worked full time for the University of Western Australia, on an evaluation project for the Western Australian Disability Services Commission, examining the system wide application of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) with a system reform (change management) agenda that provides optimal conditions to support this implementation in the Western Australian Disability Sector.
In 2016 she worked full time for Murdoch University to conduct and report on an evaluation study for a Perth based community agency that offered programs for homeless people with complex needs. She focused on the person-centred approach, interagency partnership dynamics and development, issues related to the NDIS, and the effectiveness of service delivery from clients’ perspectives.
2013-2014 Advanced Diploma in Transpersonal Art Therapy, IKON Institute, Perth, Australia.
2004-2009 PhD (Distinction). Research project: Understanding and Working with Dynamics in Cross-Cultural Education: University of Western Sydney (UWS), Penrith South, NSW, Australia
2003 PhD/DBA (foundation year): University of Humanistics (UvH), Utrecht, Netherlands
1994-1997 MEdSt (research-focused). Project: Education: The Educare/Educere Paradigm, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
1993 Cert English as a Second Language (ESL): Royal Society of the Arts, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia
1988-1991 Cert Painting and Cert. Drawing: Hobart Technical College, Australia
1982-1986 ‘First grade teacher’ training: Academie Voor Expressie & Communicatie, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
1981-1982 Social Worker training: Sociale Academie, Den Bosch, Netherlands
1978-1980 Primary school teacher training: Pedagogische Academie, Veghel, Netherlands
2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Learning, Equity, Access and Participation (LEAP) Research Centre, CQUniversity, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia
2017 University Associate/ researcher (casual), School of Humanities (Built Environment), Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Projects: 1/ Lakhnu – Sustainable Rural Development Project in India; 2/ Exploring Indigenous Employment Opportunities in Wakathanu, Pilbara region, Western Australia.
2015-2017 Tutor (Indigenous Tertiary Assistance Scheme or ITAS) (casual), Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin
University, Perth, Australia
2016 Program Evaluation Researcher, Murdoch University, School of Arts, Perth, Australia. Project: Evaluating a
Program for Homeless People in Perth.
2015 Tutor, IKON Institute, Graduate Diploma Arts Psychotherapy, Perth, Western Australia.
2014 Program Evaluation Researcher (Research Associate), University of Western Australia, Business School, Perth, Australia. Project: Exploring the roll-out of the Disability Services’ Positive Behavior Support program in Western Australia.
2013 Research Associate (casual), Anthropology and Sociology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western
Australia. Project: The Australian National Curriculum, and how racial, ethnic, national and religious identities are constructed.
2013 Researcher, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Project:
Expanding the Academic Mentoring Program
2013-2016 PhD supervisor, School of Built Environment, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
2010-2013 Lecturer/Researcher, Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. Core subjects taught: Evaluation Research; Academic Communication
2010 Online Professional Experience Facilitator/ Marker: School of Education, University of Southern
Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia
2005-2006 Research-assistant for Ass. Prof. Carol Reid, University of Western Sydney, Australia
(re 2 ARC funded projects: ‘From high school to higher education: ‘Gendered pathways in information, communication and computer technology education’ and ‘Global Teachers, an Australian Perspective: Goodbye Mr. Chips, Hello Ms. Banerjee’)
2013 Excellence & Innovation in Teaching Program Award, Curtin University Health Sciences
Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University.
Subjects: Evaluation Research, Academic Communication
2015 Academic/ Capacity Development Facilitator, Curtin University Business School and Health Faculty, Perth, Australia. Project: Clinical Field Placements Expansion in Regional and Rural Western Australia.
2003 School-guidance officer: Maximum Security Penitentiary, Vught, Netherlands
2002-2003 Employment consultant/trainer: Diamant-Group, Tilburg, Netherlands
2001 Teacher: Special Highschool De Korenaer, Eindhoven, Netherlands
2000 Teacher: Grade 7, Yuendumu, (Aboriginal community in the desert), Northern Territory, Australia
1999 Consultant 'Newcomers' (new immigrants to Holland): Dept. Of Social Services, Local Council of Veghel, Netherlands
1998 Teacher personal effectiveness/ projectleader jobmarket-orientation: Laborel Oss, Netherlands
1997 Teacher personal effectiveness & vocational education (for young people-at-risk): Bridging Education & Training, Melbourne, Australia
1996 Lifestyle-management consultant: private practice, Gold Coast, Australia
1995 Teacher personal effectiveness and job-orientation (for unemployed people): Gold Coast College of Business, Australia
1994 Case-manager: Strive Employment, Gold Coast, Australia
1992-1993 Case-manager/ jobcoach (for people with intellectual disability): Jobmatch, Hobart, Australia
1990-1992 Teacher/ coordinator (for young people-at-risk): GO-Life Skills Program, Hobart, Australia
1989-1992 Teacher personal effectiveness, communication and the arts: Schools for Welfare Studies, Child Care Studies, and Women’s Studies: Devonport and Hobart Technical Colleges, Australia
2015 Reviewer for AshEse Journal of Business Management.
2015 Reviewer for Equality, diversity and inclusion: An international journal.
2012-2014 Guest-Editor, Special Issue for the International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Lifelong
2013 Associate Editor for the International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC)
2012 Associate Editor for The International Journal of Organizational Diversity
2011 Associate Editor, Volume 9, Issue 5, The International Journal of the Humanities.
I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:
At the level of Principal Supervisor
Other Education - Education not elsewhere classified
Specialist Studies in Education - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
Communication and Media Studies - Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
Cultural Studies - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies - Globalisation and Culture
Cultural Studies - Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing - Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified
Sociology - Race and Ethnic Relations