Ten QUT staff members have been awarded Associate Fellow (Indigenous) of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) following a pilot program underpinned by a new module on Indigenous Perspectives in Learning and Teaching.
Professor Fiona Naumann, Associate Professors Louisa Coglan, Deanna Grant-Smith, Dominique Greer and Robyn Mayes, and Drs Ruari Elkington, Jenna Gillett-Swan, Melinda Laundon, Grace O’Brien and Lauren Woodlands were awarded Associate Fellow (Indigenous).
QUT received accreditation to award staff members the category of Associate Fellow (Indigenous) in late 2019. The pilot program is an initiative of QUT’s Carumba Institute and the Academy of Learning and Teaching.
The program has created a pathway for all educators to transform their practice and make Indigenous perspectives a key feature of the course learning experience.
QUT Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Margaret Sheil said the awards demonstrated an emerging confidence amongst QUT staff.
“The AFHEA (Indigenous) program will help integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ perspectives into our curriculum,” Professor Sheil said.
“This will be a central component of QUT’s commitment to transforming Indigenous education and enhancing the capacity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff to embed Indigenous perspectives in their classes.”
Launched in February 2020, more than 100 QUT staff members are now studying the module online, which supports the university’s strategic plan, Blueprint 6.
University of Sunshine Coast Indigenous Education and Engagement Dean Professor Gary Thomas, the external examiner of the program, applauded QUT for its leadership in this area.
“I congratulate QUT for creating an environment for people to speak to themselves, and through themselves, in order to find a pathway to integrate Indigenous perspectives in their curriculum,” he said.
“QUT is providing sound, solid leadership in this space nationally and I look forward to seeing how the program develops,” Professor Thomas said.
Advance HE director Kathryn Harrison-Graves commended QUT on proposing a scheme for the first-ever specialist designation award.
“QUT was one of our first global members, and over the past four years has demonstrated a clear capacity to uphold standards, innovate and lead others using the Professional Standards Framework to drive teaching quality,” Ms Harrison-Graves said.
“The AFHEA (Indigenous) presents an important opportunity, not only for QUT staff, but potentially for others in Australia by supporting educators to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples perspectives into their practice and curriculum in ways that are respectful and transformative.”
Applicants for the category Associate Fellow (Indigenous) may hold a different category of fellowship. The award sits alongside the existing category to demonstrate an emerging engagement with learning and teaching practice informed by Indigenous perspectives.
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