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UOW RAP Banner

Our Aboriginal &
Torres Strait Islander
Strategy

The University of Wollongong is committed to Reconciliation and to inspiring a better future through education, research and partnership.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan outlines our commitment to creating new opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Communities to connect, participate and grow through genuine and productive relationships with UOW.

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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which the University of Wollongong is situated. We pay our respects to Aboriginal Elders past and present, who are the knowledge holders and teachers.

We acknowledge their continued spiritual and cultural connection to Country. As we share knowledge, teaching, learning and research within this University we also pay respect to the knowledge embedded forever within the Aboriginal Custodianship of Country.

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UOW is committed to be a leader in consultation practices with Aboriginal peoples and communities and to be culturally respectful with all our engagements. To strengthen our approach, we have established the Aboriginal Advisory Group, Aboriginal Advisory Committee and the Traditional Custodians Reference Group.

Aboriginal Advisory Group

The UOW Aboriginal Advisory Group is the peak consultation body for all matters pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs at the University of Wollongong with particular responsibility for providing culturally appropriate and informed direction to the University with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.

The main role of the UOW Aboriginal Advisory Group is to:

  • Continually support the strategic direction of UOW with respect to the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and communities.
  • Support and advise the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Executive and UOW staff in making decisions in a culturally appropriate, respectful and informed manner with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.
  • Act as an open and consultative regulatory body for UOW in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.
  • Act as a conduit of information and cultural expertise.
  • Provide input and feedback into recommendations made by the UOW Aboriginal Advisory Committee. 
    Provide a forum for mutual support and empowerment to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.

The UOW Aboriginal Advisory Group consists of:

  • Pro-Vice Chancellor (Inclusion & Outreach) as Chair;
  • Director of Woolyungah Indigenous Centre as Deputy Chair;
  • Current UOW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professional and academic staff as members

Aboriginal Advisory Committee

The UOW Aboriginal Advisory Committee is a formally constituted committee which is advisory to the University and the Vice-Chancellor with particular responsibility for providing detailed reviews and recommendations pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters at and within the University.

The role of UOW Aboriginal Advisory Committee is to:

  • Continually support the strategic direction of UOW with respect to the advancement of matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff culture and cultural representation, and communities.
  • Support and advise the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Executive and UOW staff in making decisions in a culturally appropriate, respectful and informed manner in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.
  • Act as an open and consultative regulatory body for UOW in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.
  • Act as a conduit of information and cultural expertise.
  • Consider input and feedback from the UOW Aboriginal Advisory Group to inform recommendations made to the Vice-Chancellor and the University.
  • Present an annual report to the Vice-Chancellor detailing information collected and actions of the UOW Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

Current UOW Aboriginal Advisory Committee members:

  • Professor Paul Chandler, Chair and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion & Outreach)
  • Ms Nadia Neal, Lecturer, School of Health and Society
  • Mrs Jaymee Beveridge, Director Woolyungah Indigenous Centre
  • Mr Jade Kennedy, Lecturer, Indigenous Knowledges
  • Ms Vanessa Pagett, Organisational Development Officer, Professional and Organisational Development Services
  • Mr Layne Brown, Project Coordinator, Australian Health Services Research Institute

Traditional Custodians Reference Group

The Traditional Custodians Reference Group is a formally constituted group to act as a cultural reference point for the Aboriginal Affairs of the University of Wollongong.

The TCR Group shall:

  • Provide advice on the development and implementation of Aboriginal Affairs, Community Engagement, and Culturally grounded initiatives at UOW
  • Provide on-going monitoring and evaluation of the above.
  • Provide informal mentorship to Aboriginal and Torres Strait students at UOW

The UOW is looking for key community members to nominate to be present on the group to influence the changing environment at UOW, and see this opportunity as one to establishing more authentic representations of community needs.

For more information download the Terms of Reference [PDF 230kb] or submit an expression of interest to join the University of Wollongong Traditional Custodian Reference Group

Nominations close on 1 September 2019.


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The UOW’s inaugural RAP aims to inspire institutional, systemic and cultural change through a process of learning, exchange and growth. The UOW RAP 2019-2021 will establish the UOW as a space where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, cultures and values are respected, and are reflected in our teachings and the attributes of all our graduates.

Our approach to reconciliation will be distinguished by our unique and authentic cultural connections to Community, and our relationship with our place and space. We will enhance and develop our ways of learning from and engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Communities and cultures. We will create new opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff, Communities and businesses to connect, participate and grow through genuine and productive relationships with UOW. We will develop new learning exchanges to enhance the profile of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures.

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Paul Chandler is a former Australian Research Council Fellow (UNSW) and Dean of Education (UOW). During his career, he has accumulated tens of millions of dollars of research and research project funding into cognition and instruction. He was the vision behind the $44 million Early Start Project at UOW, of which he is now Foundation Chair. Professor Chandler has also received countless research and teaching awards, including the ARC/Thomson Direct Award, as one of 10 most valuable Australian scientists. Professor Chandler sits on numerous private, not for profit and government Boards. He has recently been appointed to four new boards, including the position of Executive Director of the newly formed NSW Educational Standards Authority.

Professor Chandler currently holds the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Inclusion & Outreach) at UOW where he leads the University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, Research and Engagement Enabling Strategy and the current and future UOW Reconciliation Action Plan.

Professor Paul Chandler

Professor Paul Chandler (centre) with Paul McCleod, Joe Brown-McCleod and Cohen Ward

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