Working towards reconciliation
The University of Adelaide has reaffirmed its commitment to Australia's Indigenous people with an updated reconciliation statement, which supports key targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation.
The revised statement aims to build on the original 2003 document by taking into account future directions of the University under the Beacon of Enlightenment strategic plan.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Warren Bebbington says the University's aspirations for Indigenous enrolments, employment and cultural awareness are more compelling now than they have ever been.
"Our mandate to foster and protect a campus environment of equity, diversity and social justice has never changed," he says. "In the University of Adelaide's 140th anniversary year this was clearly the right time to revisit our reconciliation statement and to reaffirm our position for a new generation."
The statement endorses the University-wide approach in the Tarrkarri Tirrka Integrated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy, which targets Indigenous workforce and student participation rates of 2% over the next 10 years.
The University's Dean of Indigenous Education, Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney, describes the statement as the University's "birth certificate document" in working towards reconciliation in collaboration with Elders.
"It acknowledges the hardships suffered by Australian Indigenous people since European colonisation and that the Kaurna people are the original custodians of the land on which the University's campuses are built," he says.
"It is essentially a roadmap for the next 10 years of engagement with Indigenous communities, providing specific targets for participation rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, and an affirmation of Indigenous culture right across the University."