Griffith is committed to ensuring the visibility, voice and valuing of our First Peoples, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their culture. The University strives to be a place where Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples construct, in positive partnership, a shared vision for learning, teaching, research and community engagement.
Griffith has shown real vision in establishing the First Peoples Health Unit and should be commended for its commitment to advancing recognition of and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and communities.
National and international research identifies a highly-skilled and well-educated Indigenous health workforce as necessary to achieve substantial gains in Indigenous Health. While the importance and demand of an Indigenous health workforce continues to increase parallel to the increase in chronic and complex disease in Indigenous communities, it is acknowledged that the development of a more highly-skilled and well-educated Indigenous health workforce is not reflective of this issue.
Australia boasts a world-class higher education system however not all Australians fare equally in terms of the opportunity to participate nor successfully complete. Australia’s Indigenous population is well underrepresented in its university system, worse again for people from remote and very remote area of the country.
This is a national concern given it is well-evidenced that higher education plays a vital role in achieving sustainable outcomes in health, education and the economy in Indigenous communities.
I strongly believe pathways to health programs in higher education are critical to building a more highly-skilled and highly-educated Indigenous Australia. I am committed to ensuring that Indigenous people who have the ability to and aspire to study at university get the opportunity to do so.