University’s second Reconciliation Action Plan focuses on parity

March 15 / 154

Wurundjeri dancers, Jindi Worabak, performing at Wominjeka 2015. Image: Peter Casamento
Wurundjeri dancers, Jindi Worabak, performing at Wominjeka 2015. Image: Peter Casamento

A commitment to population parity is a key feature of the 2015 Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for the University.

 

The first RAP, announced in 2010, focused on the development of knowledge and process that supported Indigenous development and contributed to Indigenous well-being. Building on that commitment and taking greater steps towards setting hard targets to achieve population parity, the University will look towards the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.  

The University will also grow Indigenous Australian academic and professional staff.

Currently, University of Melbourne indigenous students have one of the highest success rates in Australia but Professor Ian Anderson, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Engagement) said there is still much to be done.

“We have set ourselves some long goals and targets. For Indigenous staff we aim for parity by 2020.  For Indigenous students we are looking towards 2050,” he said.

The University works actively in partnership with schools to raise the aspirations and capability of Indigenous students to take on University studies.

The excellent growth in the 2015 commencements is due in no small part to the new Bachelor of Science (Extended) program targeted to the needs of Indigenous students that the University is offering for the first time in 2015. This new program has attracted 12 students in its first year including seven from outside Victoria.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis points to the increased numbers of undergraduates commencing at the University in 2015.

“Our 2015 cohort of Indigenous students is by far the largest the University has seen, and that is a wonderful moment in the University’s history to be part of.”

“We are deeply committed to greater engagement with Indigenous Australians; the vision for reconciliation expressed in our new RAP is for a holistic, inclusive two-way relationship based on mutual responsibility and respect,” Professor Davis said.

For further information about the RAP and to download a copy of RAP2, please visit http://about.unimelb.edu.au/reconciliation/action-plan/RAP_2_Now_available 

Story by Anne Rahilly

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