Thursday, 18 July 2019

This issue of Education Quarterly follows on closely from National NAIDOC week. It is timely to acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous education initiatives across our university.

UWA acknowledges and celebrates Indigenous peoples’ and their contributions in a range of ways across our operations from flying the Aboriginal flag at our main entrance, formally acknowledging traditional owners of land on our website: The University of Western Australia acknowledges that its campus is situated on Noongar land , and providing Welcomes to Country by Noongar Elders as a regular feature of UWA ceremonies and events.

Our goal to provide a culturally inclusive campus that respects Indigenous people, welcomes and supports Indigenous student achievement, encourages all students to undertake Indigenous studies, ensures Indigenous curriculum is integral to professional degrees and promotes cultural competency of its staff and students.

UWA’s 2030 vision promises to recognise and value Indigenous peoples’ rights, knowledge, culture and values. The Strategic Plan 2020-25 reflects our Indigenous commitment and seeks to achieve strategic goals in Indigenous higher education. We are, therefore, well placed to strengthen and embed Indigenous strategies within successive University strategies, plans and initiatives to drive a whole of University approach that is underpinned by Indigenous leadership and governance.

The UWA Indigenous Strategy builds on these strong foundations and articulates our broad vision and commitment to Indigenous higher education. The Indigenous strategy reflects specific Indigenous education priorities including increasing Indigenous student access and success, embedding Indigenous curriculum, building Indigenous academic capacity, and enhancing the cultural competence of academic and professional staff.

Our university has made a significant contribution to Indigenous Education, the Indigenous student experience and Indigenous student and staff wellbeing through its commitment to the new purpose-built Indigenous Studies building, Bilya Marlee ( River of the Swan ) – a fitting acknowledgement of Whadjuk Noongar people and language in 2019, the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages.

In this issue, the academic voice is championed by Elfie Shiosaki who reflects on the importance of sustaining meaningful Indigenous education and provides a glimpse into the Matariki Network of Universities and the opportunities it opens up for our students. We also hear a first-hand account from one of our students, Tyson McEwan, about being involved in the Study Abroad program and his aspiration to become a lawyer; and academics from the Law School and School of Psychological Science write about the Indigenisation of the curriculum and about a collaborative partnership to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Psychology. Also among the stories is a graduate’s journey back to UWA, as well as an international student’s internship experience at the Wungening Aboriginal Corporation.

We also find out more about a unique teaching opportunity at the UWA’s Albany campus which delivers programs on cross-cultural topics and courses co-taught by Indigenous elders. We also touch upon the recent success at hosting the UniSport Australia Indigenous Nationals games.

All of the stories contained in this issue are a reflection of our continued collective efforts to embrace Indigenous knowledge and culture to drive culturally capable leadership.

Professor Jill Milroy , Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Education)
Professor David Sadler , Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)


Education Quarterly