RAPs, Indigenous strategies and reports

The University's formal reconciliation journey began in 2008 with our Vice-Chancellor’s 'Apology to Indigenous Australians', in which he committed to using the University’s wealth of expertise and resources to make a sustained contribution to lifting the health, educational and living standards of Indigenous Australians.

Our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2011–2013 was structured around six action areas

  • Partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Cultural recognition
  • Indigenous student recruitment and retention
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff employment
  • Teaching and learning strategies
  • Research opportunities.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan 2015–2017 reinforced our commitment and extended our vision for reconciliation to incorporate a holistic, inclusive, two-way relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, based on mutual responsibility and respect. It also articulated hard targets for both Indigenous student recruitment and retention, and for growing our cohort of Indigenous Australian staff.

Our current Reconciliation Action Plan April 2018 - December 2022, classified by Reconciliation Australia as an Elevate RAP, sees a shift in focus to the development of 14 Signature Projects. The University believes that the outcomes of these substantial projects will have a transformational impact well beyond the University, and signal our intention to invest in reconciliation at a deeper level.

These Signature Projects are focused around four themes

Leadership for change

Our focus is on developing leadership capability among both Indigenous students and staff, and encouraging non-Indigenous staff to take on leadership roles that support our reconciliation efforts.

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Our place

With a deep connection to the physical places on which its campuses are located, we recognise there is an opportunity to improve the lived experience of the University’s Indigenous community through shaping the physical environment and promoting cultural awareness and recognition.

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Purposeful partnerships

The development of genuine and effective partnerships between the University of Melbourne and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations is a critical determinant of the quality and relevance of our Indigenous strategy and programs.

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International engagement

A focus on providing opportunities to encourage Indigenous students and staff to engage in and develop people-to-people links with the international community.

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How is RAP 3 Progressing?

In early 2021, the University of Melbourne undertook a review of RAP 3 progress.  The Progress Report was an assessment of progress towards Signature Project Target Measures with an associated target timeline of 2020 or that required annual reporting.

Early this year the University also underwent an external limited assurance audit of the Progress Report which established that what was reported was true and fair in all material aspects.

The 2020 Limited Assurance Audit conducted by Nous Group can be found at:

Previous reports:

University of Melbourne Indigenous Education Strategy

The Indigenous Education Strategy 2018 – 2022 draws together target measures, goals and key performance indicators articulated in our Reconciliation Action Plan April 2018 – December 2022 (RAP 3) and other University-wide and Divisional-level Indigenous strategies and plans, together with a broad range of additional programs and initiatives in order to meet the requirements of the ISSP Guidelines.

Indigenous Student Success Program (ISSP)

The Indigenous Student Success Program commenced 1 January 2017 and provides supplementary funding to universities to provide strategic support for Indigenous students. ISSP funding is based on enrolments, unit success rates and course completions of Indigenous students. A special loading also recognises the additional costs associated with assisting Indigenous students from regional and remote areas.

Past Indigenous Education Statements

The Indigenous Education Statement was used to determine a university’s eligibility for Indigenous Support Programme funding.  From 2009 to 2016, the University of Melbourne reported on the previous year’s outcomes and future plans to meet its ongoing responsibilities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student achievement in higher education.