24 May 2002

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay is to present a copy of the University’s reconciliation policy to Indigenous leaders and representatives this evening.

Professor Hay will make the presentation to senior people of Brisbane’s Indigenous community and the Director of UQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the 5th Annual Sorry Day Remembrance Dinner at the University’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane.

The presentation is part of Journey of Healing Week being organised by the UQ Student Union and the Goorie Berrimpa Student Association.

UQ’s reconciliation policy was passed by the University Senate in November 2001 (policy 8.10.3). The policy states that:

1.1 The University of Queensland values difference. The University encourages, and is proud of, the diversity of ethnicities, cultures, languages, values and beliefs amongst its staff and students. Such diversity is an integral part of the University’s role of the University’s role in encouraging tolerance in education and in our society.

1.2 In particular, the University is committed to the process of national reconciliation with its indigenous peoples. We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which the University now operates.

1.3 As an institution involved in teaching, learning and research we seek to further the understanding, both amongst students and the wider community, of traditional cultures and values and the history of Australia’s original inhabitants. We seek also to further the trust and respect between indigenous and non-indigenous staff and students.

1.4 This we do through teaching programs on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and indigenous issues, involving indigenous and non-indigenous staff in collaboration. These programs are accessible to all our students, from both Australia and overseas. We will further encourage the incorporation of indigenous perspectives in our curriculum.

1.5 We express our pride in the achievements of our indigenous staff and graduates. We seek to expand the education in all disciplines of students from indigenous backgrounds, to attract more indigenous students, to ensure their smooth entry to university life, success in their studies and a steady path to their chosen careers. We seek to encourage in our students recognition of the contribution that they in turn can make to their communities and to the nation.

1.6 In seeking to assist the process of reconciliation, the University recognises that there is yet much to be done, but that it is necessary for all Australians to work together towards a united Australia that respects our land and the heritage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and provides justice and equity for all.

Media: for more information contact Michael Williams (tel. 07 3365 6733) or Peter McCutcheon at UQ Communications (tel. 07 3365 1088)