At UTS we are proud of our long record of leadership in the areas of Indigenous education and research.
One of our most innovative initiatives has been to take a whole-of-university approach to Indigenous education and employment. By raising its status within the university, we have made the university’s Indigenous commitment core business – the responsibility of all of us.
The cornerstone of this approach is our Indigenous Education and Employment Policy, which aligns UTS with national Indigenous higher education objectives and internationally recognised principles. Aside from ascribing to the principle of self-determination for Indigenous people, our policy commits the university to create opportunities for all UTS students to gain knowledge of Indigenous Australia and embeds acts of Indigenous recognition and partnership within the public and ceremonial life of UTS.
Two UTS-wide integrated Indigenous strategies support this policy: the Indigenous Education Strategy (encompassing student recruitment, support services, curricula issues and research) and the Wingara Indigenous Employment Strategy. Both strategies set key objectives over a multi-year period and identify prominent staff across UTS who are responsible for their implementation, achievement and reporting.
Senior staff from across UTS have partnered with Indigenous academic and non-academic staff to consolidate their expertise into five specialist sub-committees. These sub-committees report to an overarching Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Strategies Committee, which in turn is guided by the Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Committee composed of external Indigenous community leaders and specialists. We believe this whole-of-university approach is one of the most comprehensive in the country.
UTS’s genuine commitment to these strategies can be demonstrated through just a few of our initiatives:
- relocation of Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research (Jumbunna) to a prominent location featuring state-of-the-art learning and social spaces
- an increase in the number of scholarships available to Indigenous students
- development of a professional and highly committed Indigenous student learning development and support team
- expansion of our dynamic Indigenous recruitment team
- introduction of a fully-funded international travel experience for Indigenous students
- mandating jobs for Indigenous people across the university
- creating professional development opportunities for all Indigenous staff
- providing cadetship and internship opportunities for UTS Indigenous students with a view to ongoing employment at UTS.
We are also extremely proud of our research. Jumbunna has an outstanding and internationally acknowledged record of research output and Indigenous advocacy. Our research team is one of the few in the country that engages in inquiry and social advocacy based on conversations with the community. Independent and fearless, we do the controversial work that others shy away from.
We ensure that our research outputs are published in accessible formats, which benefit the communities they were designed to support. Ours is the only Indigenous research team in Australia that champions issues through our active litigation arm.
Our belief at UTS is that Indigenous education is not just delivered by and for Indigenous people, but is delivered by and for all Australians. While Indigenous education does, in part, mean the creation of educational opportunities and the pursuit of academic excellence for Indigenous people, it is equally about the creation of opportunities for all Australians to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous Australia – the most ancient and ongoing thread in our national fabric. It is about taking us all into the future. It is about nation building.
We at UTS, and at Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, are proud to be leaders in this movement.
Professor Michael McDaniel brings more than two decades' experience in Indigenous education to his role as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) and the Director, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research.