Self Introduction No.11: Anna Yan Yee Rumjahn

Please Introduce yourself!


I’m Anna from Australia and am currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at The University of Sydney. I believe the ISC64 provides a platform for voices of extraordinary characters who are your ‘everyday man’ to be heard. In a world of competitive, fast-paced consumerism, it is important to have your opinion be considered by the larger community. My love for challenging dispositions and taking on new endeavours largely drove my intentions of applying.  

From a young age, I had always trusted the capacity of the human race to constantly change and improve on numerous levels. Being a pre-service teacher, I take my job with the highest regard as children are easily moulded and need to be given the proper foundations from an early age. By instilling a mindset of openness, creativity, willingness, resourcefulness and understanding of themselves as well as others, they will strive to be amazing citizens. I believe in changing the world, one student at a time, however, my own attitudes and philosophies need to be extended first, and the ISC64 will definitely achieve that. ISC64 aims to reach sustainable happiness, which I am a big supporter of and henceforth, why I am so appreciative to be part of this event.


What is your Table Topic?

What do you think about your table topic so far and what is the goal of your table?

The fabrication of gender and the expectations for males and females are cemented at very young ages, demanding an enforced concept of heterosexuality. From this, heterosexism is consequently derived from society, accepting heterosexuality as ‘the norm’, and the ‘other’ being negatively perceived or not accepted. Throughout my upbringing, educational institutions have taught me the hegemonic discourse which viewed heterosexuality as the expected paradigm. Additionally, they have produced gender messages, fabricating a certain identity by an individual.

Schools can be seen as discursive sites with the ability to manipulate knowledge that ultimately becomes their foundation of truth, upholding social values of more dominant groups. They captivate and construct knowledge, highlighting sexuality as a fabrication of social discourse over time. The curriculum that is taught in Australian schools often lacks specificity, does not demonstrate concern for concepts such as homosexuality or transgender people and curates students’ understanding of sexuality to be quite narrow. It has sought to streamline a dominant discourse into the future of young minds, shaping children to have heteronormative futures by making sexual knowledge absent. I attended an all-girls academic high school where homosexuality was never openly spoken of. Those who identified as having homosexual tendencies were marginalised, derided or seen as peculiar and were frequently avoided by peers. From this, their self-esteem and confidence is stifled, unaccepted and pushed into a corner. Consequently, this has led to the establishment of a misperception about them, silencing their voice before they have even had a chance to speak.

Traditionally, textbooks have recurrently shown family structures as having one mother and one father in a heterosexual relationship. This may reflect a majority of families in society, however, dismisses couples who may be in a homosexual relationship. Intrinsic messages like this show how heterosexism is pertinent to even the most minute details and pervades deeply into all areas of everyday life. Young people are frequently curious about sexuality but are too often unsure where to start seeking answers from. The media is another institution that has continually disseminated a plethora of implicit messages regarding sexuality and social interactions with individuals or various cultural groups, reconstructing my view in regards to these particular concepts.

Over the past decade, I have been fortunate enough to witness a society which is more open to celebrating difference, creating an inclusive environment for all. However, there is still a long way to go in achieving equality for all Australians and I hope that the dynamic discussions and meaningful interactions with like-minded individuals at ISC64 will further shape my values and teaching pedagogy, resulting in a more powerful influence.