This article takes place in not one taxi, but all the taxis I have caught in Timor-Leste, encapsulating first encounter conversations I have had across the country, where my “otherness” as a Señora, an Australian who towers over the local population is contrasted to my knowledge of the country. I take a reflexive approach to explore how my identity as a work colleague and researcher has been constructed by many factors. Such encounters as I typify here challenge me to consider who I am and what is expected of me as a sensitive and ethical adviser and researcher.


Intercultural Research, Reflexivity, Timor-Leste

Author Bio(s)

Marie Quinn teaches and researches in TESOL and Applied Linguistics programs as well as initial teacher education, bringing experience of teaching and working in a number of countries, including Timor-Leste. She has worked in a number of education-related advisor roles for education, civil society and justice organisations. Her current research looks at how teachers in Timor-Leste make sense of curriculum reform and their classroom roles. Please direct correspondence to marie.quinn@uts.edu.au.


Thank you to the two anonymous reviewers for their comments to help me edit this paper for better clarity. Their advice was appreciated. Thanks also to my colleague Dr Don Carter for reading early drafts and encouraging me to write about this aspect of my work.

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