The University of Newcastle highlighted the importance of Indigenous education in its Strategic Plan 2007-2011: Building Distinction.
As part of our commitment to implementing this strategy, the School has instigated an Indigenous Collaboration Convenor and developed a number of initiatives that are detailed below.
The School of Humanities and Social Science employs Indigenous staff members in both its academic and administrative sections along with a strong cohort of non-Indigenous staff with experience in many facets of Indigenous education. Our staff contribute a broad range of expertise to researching and teaching about Indigenous issues. Above all, there has been an ethos of bringing about positive change for Indigenous communities in many varied areas, such as:
- Native Title reports
- Culturally appropriate models of Social Work
- Giving voice to Indigenous histories and embedding Indigenous perspectives in our teaching
- Educating students about Indigenous perspectives and issues
The School is fully committed to the education of all students on Indigenous issues. Many of our first year and upper level courses include Aboriginal perspectives and assessment tasks related to increasing student knowledge on Aboriginal issues. We encourage our students to think critically about issues of race, ethnicity and racism in Australian society.
Supporting Indigenous students
The School has Indigenous students enrolled across our undergraduate and postgraduate programs. For these students, the University has provided a strong infrastructure of support that is administered through the Wollotuka Student Support Unit.
In addition, the School of Humanities and Social Science offers its own academic consultation sessions for Indigenous students, building on the successful program piloted by Wollotuka, School of Aboriginal Studies. Indigenous students will be able to access an Aboriginal academic staff member for assistance in developing their academic skills.
Contact Brooke Collins-Gearing - Indigenous Collaborations Convenor.
While the School is pleased with its history of attracting and retaining Indigenous students, we are examining new ways to recruit Indigenous students to our programs, extend our Indigenous course content, and improve our student support mechanisms to increase completion rates.