Rural and Remote Research Network

The Rural and Remote Education Research Network has a decade of research focusing on a range of issues of rural teaching. Of specific focus are the transitions that students experience as they move from their final year of university into schools along with a focus on the opportunities and challenges of teachers moving from metropolitan teaching posts to those in rural and remote communities. Survey and interviews provided data exploring the lived experiences of teachers in rural schools.  From leadership opportunities in accelerated timeframes to the ingenuity of small school principals, the multi-disciplinary scholars brought diverse methodological and theoretical perspectives to the network. 

The network has previously been known as the Bush Tracks Research Group and nine multidisciplinary scholars from the School of Education along with two higher degree research student projects completed by 2011 – have created a formidable cache of research which is now synthesised into a book. The book will be published by SENSE in 2015 and is edited by Professor Lorraine Graham and Associate Professor Judith Miller. 

Bush Track book cover

UNE Contributors include: 

Associate Professor Linley Cornish
Mrs Kathy Jenkins
Dr Genevieve Noone (former doctoral student and colleague)
Professor Neil Taylor
Associate Professor Joy Hardy
Associate Professor Judith Miller
Mrs Azhar Al-Awiwe (Masters Research student)
Dr Paul Reitano - Griffith University
Associate Professor David Paterson of University of Canberra
Professor Lorraine Graham of University of Melbourne


The first year of the Rural and Remote Education network witnessed the former Bush Tracks Research Group fulfilling the Book Contract with Sense. This included writing up many of the outcomes from the decade of research under the network leadership of Associate Professor Judith Miller. 

These can be categorised under the following headings:

  • A history of small schools in the Northwest of NSW – Linley Cornish
  • Students transitioning to teaching in rural settings – Genevieve Noone
  • Teachers transitioning from place to place – Genevieve Noone
  • Teachers’ challenges and opportunities when teaching in rural schools – Kathy Jenkins, Neil Taylor and Paul Reitano
  • Affectual Language in Teachers’ Talk - Joy Hardy
  • Opportunities for leadership in accelerated timeframes – Lorraine Graham, Judith Miller,  and David Paterson
  • Women leadership in rural schools –Judith Miller, Lorraine Graham and Azhar Al-Awiwe,
  • Professional supports for teachers in rural settings. Kathy Jenkins and Neil Taylor
  • Small school Principals and their Ingenuity, Innovation etc.  Linley Cornish and Kathy Jenkins

With the launch of the book at the SPERA conference in October 2015, the Rural and Remote Education Network will focus on a new research agenda incorporating new staff at the School of Education. From initial discussions in 2014, a new agenda of research will incorporate new staff interests and expertise. We will be focusing our new research agenda to inform the Pre-service Teacher Education courses and postgraduate studies for teachers contemplating a move to rural schools, or those currently located in rural settings.  This may include collaborations with Griffith University, University of Canberra and University of Melbourne.