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Artwork painted by Nathan Patterson (Wagiman)

16 February 2023

‘Bold ideas that enrich us all’: how we’ll all grow from the new Deakin Indigenous Strategy

Today we turn a new page in First Nations education at Deakin. The Deakin Indigenous Strategy builds on the three-and-a-half-decades that the University has been a lighthouse for many First Nations peoples who sought liberation for their families, communities and themselves through education.
—Professor Mark Rose, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Innovation

As a Deakin student, you’re privileged to enjoy the beautiful lands and waterways on our campuses that were nurtured for many thousands of years by their Traditional Custodians.

Our University also has a proud history in Indigenous education, with more than 1000 First Nations students graduating over 30-plus years. 

Now, in this year of momentous possibilities, we pledge to move Indigenous Knowledges into the fabric of Australian life. As we release the Deakin Indigenous Strategy 2023–28, we ask you to walk together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to create and experience bold ideas that enrich us all.

A milestone document

The Deakin Indigenous Strategy 2023–28, which was developed through authentic consultation with First Nations Communities, as well as faculties and divisions across the University, is making action for Indigenous education a shared responsibility for our whole community. This living document recognises the changing Indigenous landscape within a national context and sets out a comprehensive action plan across five domains:

  1. Students: we will grow access, participation and success in higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  2. Knowledge: we will support the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and respectfully embed them in all courses.
  3. Employment: we will grow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation among our staff and be an employer of choice for First Nations Peoples.
  4. Whole-of-University: we will embed commitment to and celebration of First Nations Peoples and communities across all our activities.
  5. Community: we will grow and advance respectful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

More comprehensive actions and detail on these areas can be found in the strategy.

What we can all do

We continue to build Indigenous Knowledge and intelligence by promoting Indigenous voices and visibility through celebrations, commemorations and events. We pledge to continue work closely with Traditional Custodians on whose lands the University sits: the Wadawurrung people of the Geelong (Djilang) region, the Wurundjeri people of the greater Melbourne (Naarm) region and the Eastern Maar people of the Warrnambool region.

We’re embedding Indigenous Knowledges into our learning with our Indigenous studies elective units and the Indigenous Curriculum Transformation Project. We encourage you to explore these learning opportunities.

The strategy recognises that Indigenous Knowledges should be a shared heritage for all Australians; setting cultural intelligence as an attribute that every Deakin graduate will take into their professional and community life.
—Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic & Alfred Deakin Professor

Banner image credit: ‘Learning Together, Growing Together’ by Wagiman man Nathan Patterson.

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