In 2012, the Chancellor, Dr Ian Gould, and the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter H�j , committed the university to the development of a reconciliation action plan, or RAP. Since that time, many staff, students and members of the external community have worked together to craft our first RAP and to explore what reconciliation means in a modern university. Building on a framework provided by Reconciliation Australia, I�m delighted and honoured to introduce the fruits of their endeavours.
One of the functions set out in the university�s
founding legislation is �to provide such tertiary education programmes
as [it] thinks appropriate to meet the needs of the Aboriginal people.�
We have significant cohorts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
staff and students, although neither group is yet at population parity.
Much work has been done - for example, we have had an Indigenous
Employment Strategy in place for many years, and Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander students now enrol in a much larger range of disciplines
than they did ten years ago. We were the first university in Australia
to make a formal commitment to reconciliation and to embed this in the
institution�s core values. However, we have also realised that
aspirations, no matter how firmly held, are insufficient. If we want
real change we require a plan; one that contains real and measurable
actions that can provide signposts and milestones of our progress.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan offers a real opportunity
for us to deepen the respect and relationships between Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples and other groups within the university.
It is a framework for cultural change, change that supports other
projects that will deliver better opportunities and outcomes for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students. It
demonstrates support from the most senior levels of university
management. Our RAP expresses our commitment to continue the work we
have started and to track our progress against intentions, goals and
I would particularly like to thank Professors Peter Buckskin and Esther May for co-chairing the RAP steering group. I commend this first UniSA Reconciliation Action Plan to you and look forward to its further development.
Vice Chancellor and President
(Erratum: Page 19, under the heading �Community Relationships� � Aboriginal Power Cup was omitted.)
Latest Progress Report (pdf 326kb) - 2 April 2015
Useful Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) links:
What is a reconciliation action plan?
Examples of Reconciliation Action Plans
Welcome to and Acknowledgment of Country
What is reconciliation?