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Children from Doomadgee State School

Discover more about our projects and collaborative pathway initiatives

Griffith has a proud history of working with Elders, developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community engagement strategies and partnerships for community empowerment. Social action research underpins many of the initiatives, which brings all parties together to promote a shared sense of responsibility for the program and its success. The Office of Indigenous Community Engagement, Policy and Partnerships at Griffith provides the University advice on Indigenous higher education and works on a range of initiatives.


Find out more about ICEPP, which is the Office of Indigenous Community Engagement, Policy and Partnerships at Griffith.


Deed of Arrangement with the Kombumerri People

Griffith continues to uphold the Deed of Arrangement between the university and the Kombumerri people, the traditional custodians of campus land.

Memoranda of Understanding

Linkages have been created through Memoranda of Understanding between Indigenous elements at Griffith University and institutions including:

Footprints in film


Footprints in Film was an innovative, collaborative and mentored project for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Year 10 students, with an aim to improve their self-confidence and belief in their culture and life experience.

Under a mentorship agreement between industry professionals and at-risk youth, selected students were introduced to scriptwriting and short-film production. An innovative approach was taken that used their own social dialects, knowledge and experiences to scaffold their learning.

For these students, the existing secondary school curriculum had proved unsuccessful, but through the project they built their academic confidence and improved their ability to use standard English outside the normal curriculum approach.

The project was a partnership between Loganlea State High School, Griffith University, Griffith Film School, The Australian Film and Television and Radio School, Arts Queensland and Q-Pix.


Footprints in Film won its category for the Regional Showcase 2006 Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The 2005 group of youth-at-risk participants authored two industry-standard scripts collaboratively:

  • Deadline, which was produced with the help of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School with additional funding and support from Griffith University
  • Yahgaay, an animated short film.

Teachers and parents also indicated significant change in participants’ attitudes to schooling and their ability to negotiate problematic situations at school and home.

Doomadgee Community Rejuvenation Project


Griffith researchers collaborated with community Elders to develop practical ways in which they could assist in the restoration and revitalization of remote Aboriginal communities.


Griffith researchers worked with the people of Doomadgee to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of families. Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians provided furniture, toys, clothing, household goods, books, bikes, food, toiletries, linen and many other items to the Doomadgee community for distribution to families in need. Staff and Elders assisted families without access to basic living resources. The project also helped provide travel and accommodation for a number of families who left the community for medical assistance.

Brisbane MURRI Court


With the aim to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison, this project brings Elders and respected Indigenous community members to work with magistrates to help achieve real outcomes and social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Griffith was instrumental in working with Elders and the Chief Stipendiary Magistrate to establish the first MURRI Court at Brisbane Magistrates Court in 2002.


Queensland’s MURRI Court system has improved justice for Indigenous people and is now held in Brisbane, Ipswich, Caboolture, Cleveland, Caloundra, Chebourg, Rockhampton, Mount Isa and Townsville. In 2006 the MURRI Court and Elders won a NAIDOC Excellence Award. Professor Boni Robertson and the GUMURRII Centre also won NAIDOC Outstanding Contribution Awards in 2006 for ongoing commitment and dedication to the MURRI Court. Professor Robertson and Griffith staff were also invited to present at the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association Conference in Toronto, Canada, to discuss the Queensland MURRI Courts and Indigenous Customary Law in the Australian Legal System.

COOEE Indigenous Elders and Family Resource Centre


The COOEE Indigenous Elders, Youth and Family Resource Centre was established as a community response to deal with the emerging social issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and at-risk youth in the Redland Shire. Elders and non-Indigenous service providers were concerned about the increasing number of at-risk Indigenous families, many of which were single-parent families isolated from family or community support. Their access to resources and services was compounded by the limited presence of culturally-effective and community-based services in the area. Elders and community services collaborated to establish the COOEE Centre at Capalaba.


COOEE participants developed strategies to cope with the increasing social problems Indigenous families and youth encounter.

Partnerships between Griffith University, COOEE and the Aboriginal Education Clinic clearly demonstrate successful strategies for developing partnerships, and for working collaboratively with other organisations such as Civic Solutions—a not-for-profit corporation with programs to address the education, training and employment options for Indigenous Australians.

MURRI Makeovers


This project was designed to develop socially and economically viable Indigenous communities and to enhance the quality of life of Indigenous families.


The pilot project was run in the Doomadgee community, assisting more than 40 families establish a suitable home. The project was extended to help families in South East Queensland.


ICEPP is the Office of Indigenous Community Engagement, Policy and Partnerships at Griffith University.

ICEPP provides the University advice on Indigenous higher education and works on initiatives that contribute to the spiritual, social, emotional, economic and educational wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and to the wellbeing of Indigenous people from other parts of the world.

Under the directorship of Professor of Indigenous Policy, Boni Robertson, the office also acts as a conduit between the University and other educational institutions, businesses, professional agencies, government departments and the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to advocate on Indigenous matters.

ICEPP is also the secretariat for the Griffith University Council of Elders, and the Indigenous Women's Research Consortium.

ICEPP partner organisations

The Office of ICEPP acknowledges the valuable contributions of its partner organisations, which span schools, community, government and international organisations.

Such partner organisations include:

  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium
  • World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium(WINHEC)
  • World Indigenous Research Alliance
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service
  • Benevolent Society
  • Ipswich City Council
  • Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
  • Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE
  • National Indigenous Elders Alliance
  • Redlands City Council
  • Education Queensland
  • The Smith Family
  • Local secondary schools such as Alexandra Hills, Cleveland, Wellington Point and Capalaba
  • Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
  • Capalaba PCYC.

Memorandum Of Understanding

ICEPP has a Memorandum Of Understanding with entities such as:

  • Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE (Alexandra Hills campus)
  • St Johns Cathedral
  • The Conservatorium of Music
  • The MURRII Court Cleveland
  • Sarino Russo Australia
  • Virgin Australia Airlines.

Higher education connections

ICEPP has been involved in the review and assessment of Indigenous centres or programs within universities including:

  • University of Tasmania
  • Sydney University
  • Deakin University.