Indigenous programs across the University
The University's commitment to Indigenous teaching and learning and research is evident in the number and range of specialist academic programs across the disciplines, schools and centres.
Faculty of Arts
Indigenous initiatives and programs in the Faculty of Arts include Australian Indigenous Studies, the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages, the Minutes of Evidence Project, the Kate Challis RAKA Award for Indigenous creative artists, the Indigenous Cadetship Program and the Bachelor of Arts Extended program, a four-year program designed for Indigenous students.
The Faculty's Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) works closely with a number of communities to foster development and knowledge exchange. The partnership with the Warmun Community in East Kimberley is a significant one for CCMC and the Faculty, one that clearly demonstrates the two-way benefits that arise when partners are committed to working together.
Image: Gija Elder Mabel Juli and great-grand-daughter Tieana at Warmun 2013. Photo by Alana Hunt
Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS)
The Faculty has its own RAP Implementation Committee chaired by Associate Dean (Indigenous Development) Professor Shaun Ewen, and a wide range of initiatives responding to the RAP.
MDHS is home to a number of Indigenous programs with a national profile Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Tobacco Control the LIME Network and the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.
Billibellary's Walk, an Aboriginal walking tour of campus developed in 2011, is a collaborative project let by the Onemda on behalf of the Faculty in partnership with Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council Inc and Murrup Barak.
Image: Prof Shaun Ewen and staff at LIME Network event 2013. Photo by Fiona Morrison
Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development
Since 2002, the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development has been a vibrant hub for Indigenous arts practice, providing an Indigenous lens through which staff and students at the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music can connect with 70,000 years of continuing culture .
The Wilin Centre is dedicated to Indigenous arts, artists, communities and career development. Deborah Cheetham, Head of the Wilin Centre, said "The focus at the Wilin Centre has always been to shine a light on Indigenous achievement and to assist Indigenous men and women to find a pathway to their chosen field of artistic expression achievement."Image: Kawadji Wimpa Dancer Crystal Dean. Photo by Jorge de Araujo.
Mathematics and science literacy is a key issue impacting on the choice of pathways into the professions, nowhere is this more relevant than in Indigenous education. The University has a number of initiatives aimed at developing pathways for Indigenous students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the STEM studies) and encouraging secondary students to continue studying science and maths through to VCE.
A new program, the Bachelor of Science (Extended) program will be offered for the first time in 2015.
Murrup Barak operates as a centre of welcome for Indigenous students and staff and as a conduit for the development and support of Indigenous strategy across the University.
Programs supported by Murrup Barak include the Indigenous Schools Partnerships, the Indigenous Academic Enrichment Program, the Murrup Barak National Experience Camp and the Indigenous Graduate Students Association. The Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Research previously coordinated by Murrup Barak is now delivered by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education.
Academy of Sport Health and Education (ASHE)
ASHE was established in 2004 as a partnership initiative between the University and the Rumbalara Football Netball Club in Shepparton with the goal of providing an alternative pathway to further educations and employment for Aboriginal youth who have disengaged from secondary school.
Since its inception, almost 100 ASHE students have completed certificate level qualifications.