Indigenous education will be a major focus next week, when 59 Indigenous students graduate from enabling and degree programs across the University of Newcastle.
Fifteen of the students will celebrate their achievements through the enabling programs of Newstep, Yapug and Open Foundation, while 45 students will graduate with undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.
The Wollotuka Indigenous Support Unit will host a function for all Indigenous graduates on Monday 14 April, to mark their successes.
Professor Kevin McConkey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said the University was committed to empowering Indigenous people through education.
"The University is home to some of the most prolific and insightful Indigenous students, academics and researchers in Australia, who are canvassing a diverse and unique range of issues and themes," he said.
"We are extremely proud of our record in Indigenous education. The students graduating next week have completed a range of degrees - from teaching, forensic science and design, to engineering, medicine and law.
"Education linked with traditional knowledge will ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people maintain cultural practices and values, and also advance and contribute to society more widely."
Around 400 Indigenous students are currently enrolled at the University, from just two in 1983. Indigenous students come to the University through a range of entry pathways, including standard admission from high school, articulation from TAFE studies, the Yapug program, and special admission procedures.
The celebration of Indigenous graduates will be held on Monday 14 April 2008 at 11.30am at Wollotuka on the Newcastle campus of the University (Callaghan).
To arrange pictures at the celebration on Monday, please contact Katie Porritt in Media and Public Relations.