Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following pages may contain images and voices of deceased persons.
As Chancellor of Griffith University, I am proud that this institution has a large and growing cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and alumni, whose achievements reach across every discipline—Arts, Education and Law, Sciences, Health and Business. I am pleased to see at our graduation ceremonies the visible markers of this success in the special stoles that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students wear, and the proud family celebrations that accompany their proceeding across the stage.
Griffith University was the first in Australia to create a Council of Elders—a model that has since been adopted elsewhere. The GUMURRII Programs Student Support Unit works with and alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to build aspirations and greater access to higher education. Once students reach us, they are given personalised support throughout their learning journeys, and encouraged to achieve their potential at university and beyond.
The Indigenous Research Unit focuses on projects driven by the needs of the communities it serves. This work seeks to positively influence policy to improve socio-economic conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The University is committed to growing greater numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and Higher Degree Research students. Through its work, the newly established First Peoples Health Unit seeks to achieve Baugal baugulin yabruma, or better wellbeing.
Griffith University released its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2012, and has recently published its new RAP —effective from 2016-2018. It’s a blueprint for what we will do to better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and alumni across the span of our work. It’s ambitious and it’s vitally important.
Reconciliation is not overnight work. It takes time, it takes resources and it takes commitment. We recognise the important role universities have to play in achieving reconciliation through their core business of teaching and learning, research and community engagement. Thank you for joining us on this important journey for all Australians.
Mr Henry Smerdon AM DUniv
Annual dates of cultural significance
|3 February||Anniversary of the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous People|
|25 May||National Sorry Day|
|27 May – 3 June||Reconciliation Week|
|27 May||Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum|
|3 June||Mabo Day|
|1 July||The Coming of Light Festival|
|5 - 12 July||NAIDOC Week|
|4 August||National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day|
|9 August||The United Nation’s International Day of World’s Indigenous People|
Walk and Talk
In acknowledgement of National Sorry Day each year, our GUMURRII Student Support Unit organises Walk and Talk events that bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff and students in a spirit of reconciliation. This day acknowledges the Stolen Generations (Indigenous Australians forcibly removed from their families and communities), and promotes a process of recognition, respect and healing.
First Peoples reconciliation resources
Written by nine authors, the book Lost Conversations gives new insights into positive and powerful conversations that hit the heart of what reconciliation is all about.
Share Our Pride
Find out more about Indigenous Australian culture, kinship and connection at Reconciliation Australia’s Share Our Pride website.
Cultural competency framework
The National Best Practice Framework for Cultural Competency in Australian Universities provides guiding principles in relation to fostering relationships, respect and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the spirit of reconciliation.
Department of Education and Training Indigenous portal
The Indigenous portal brings together key strategies, programs and initiatives at improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people across the full spectrum of education.
Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project
AIPEP gathers news and resources useful for educators and practitioners in psychology, relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing.