We demonstrate a strong commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and a history of leadership in Indigenous education.
Of our 44,000 students, we have some 700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students currently studying from undergraduate to PhD level.
In 2001 QUT Council adopted the Reconciliation Statement (PDF file, 1.0 MB). Over the next 10 years this policy was used to enable directed improvements in the areas of teaching and learning, research, community service, employment and organisational culture. An Indigenous Employment Strategy has been in place since 2002, and in 2006 the first Professor of Indigenous Studies was appointed.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan
In 2015 we launched the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan (PDF file, 5.2 MB) to replace the Reconciliation Action Plan and support Blueprint 4. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan brings together the strategies of Blueprint 4 and focuses on four elements:
- ensuring all students have the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in their course
- increasing the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and academic staff
- ensuring all staff have sufficient understanding and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives to contribute to reconciliation in the undertaking of their duties
- significantly increasing our community engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their involvement in decision-making.
In 2010 our strategic plan, Blueprint 3 , reaffirmed and refocused our commitment to reconciliation. In 2012 our Reconciliation Action Plan was adopted by QUT Council.
Guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander terminology
It's important to be aware of and sensitive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the Indigenous peoples of Australia. There's an inconsistent understanding about the appropriate and correct way of referring to Australia's Indigenous peoples. Our Recommended Guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Terminology (PDF file, 86.8 KB) outline our preferred approach to using correct terminology.
Students, learning and teaching
The Oodgeroo Unit
Established in 1991, the Oodgeroo Unit is the centre of our activities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, studies and research. The Oodgeroo Unit is committed to developing better access to university education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and promoting higher levels of participation in tertiary education.
Indigenous Knowledges minor
We offer four units as part of the Indigenous Knowledges minor, inviting students to critically reflect on their own understandings and challenging them to develop personal standpoints as they examine the limitations of dominant perspectives in Australian society. The minor draws on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems and perspectives while disrupting and critiquing existing systems of knowing and being.
Research and innovation
Indigenous Research and Engagement Unit
Our Indigenous Research and Engagement Unit is committed to fostering an environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share research and knowledge. Indigenous research students at QUT are supported by the IREU. We offer a culturally supportive environment that includes access to student support services, scholarships and financial support. Students also have access to activities including research seminar series, critical reading groups and Indigenous research conferences.
National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network
The National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) is a national, inclusive, multidisciplinary hub and spokesmodel network of Indigenous researchers at various stages of their careers.
NIRAKN members represent over 50 Aboriginal nations, as well as 21 collaborating universities, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and five partner organisations:
- Ninti One
- Healing Foundation
- Waminda Aboriginal Women's Health Centre
- United Nations University
- National Congress of Australia's First Peoples.
The network is led by Indigenous senior scholars with strong research track records who bring extensive experience in collaborative and community-based research.
People, culture and sustainability
Indigenous Employment Strategy
Our Indigenous Employment Strategy outlines our approach and commitment to increasing employment and development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The strategy aims for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff representation to be 3% of the total university workforce.
Indigenous Education, Research and Employment Committee
Our Indigenous Education, Research and Employment Committee advises university management on matters within the university relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. The committee works through the Vice-Chancellor and President, the Provost, the Dean of the Indigenous Research and Engagement Unit, the Director of the Oodgeroo Unit, and through committees like our Learning and Teaching Committee, University Research and Innovation Committee, and Indigenous Employment Reference Group.
Our goals for the future
Our goals for Indigenous representation at our university are guided by our key performance indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students, which include:
- share of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander domestic undergraduate enrolments
- share of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
- research and innovation targets.
We monitor the access, representation, success, retention and attrition of student equity target groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. You can read our most recent Equity reports to see how we're tracking.