14 September 2012

The University of Queensland has released its first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Plan, articulating its vision for the University in Indigenous learning, discovery and engagement.

As well as encouraging and supporting Indigenous students throughout their higher education journey, it recognises the importance of providing opportunities for all UQ students to gain exposure to Indigenous issues.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Debbie Terry said the plan embedded a commitment to Indigenous education across the University, prioritising engagement with Indigenous Australians.

“As well as focusing on the learning experience, UQ must channel its research strengths into an expanded range of collaborations, targeting solutions to both entrenched problems and emerging challenges in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” she said.

Professor Terry thanked and congratulated Pro Vice- Chancellor (Indigenous Education), Professor Cindy Shannon for co-ordinating the plan’s development.

Professor Shannon said the process involved extensive consultation across the University and with key Indigenous stakeholders.

“The plan includes a range of strategies for working with potential students, building their aspirations, and developing pathways to come to university, and support once they are here.

“Once students leave to take up roles in the wider community, we want to maintain the relationships, so longer-term graduate engagement is part of the strategy.”

Professor Shannon said data from the 2011 Census confirmed that the Brisbane region – where several UQ campuses are located — has the largest Indigenous population in the country — over 53,000 people.

“UQ has the potential for achieving significant outcomes as a result,” Professor Shannon said.

Professor Shannon’s office will have overall oversight and implementation oversight of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Plan. Access a copy of the Strategic Plan here.

She thanked all stakeholder groups who had contributed to the plan. The work to implement the plan has commenced.

“We will encourage Indigenous students to take the next step to tertiary studies and provide them with opportunities to support their success in the workplace,” she said.

Media: For further information, please contact Jan King 0413 601 248, j.king@uq.edu.au.