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Media Release

November 19 2008

Biennial lecture to challenge government commitment on Indigenous education

Prof Peter BuckskinAre Australian governments really committed to moving beyond the rhetoric of “practical reconciliation” and “closing the gap” in solving Indigenous education issues?

Dean and Head of School at UniSA’s David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research (DUCIER), Professor Peter Buckskin will explore these challenging issues when he delivers the 2008 Duguid Memorial Lecture, Indigenous Education Outcomes: Are the answers in the mainstream? next Thursday, November 27.

The biennial Duguid public lecture is organised jointly by UniSA and Flinders University, in honour of the lives of Dr Charles Duguid OBE and his wife, Mrs Phyllis Duguid OAM, who were early 20th century pioneers and advocates for the advancement of Indigenous people.

Prof Buckskin says the lecture will examine nation wide management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and the realities of the vast gaps in educational and social outcomes.

“Australian governments continue to mainstream Aboriginal education, without building on the cultural knowledge and positive experiences that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to both the decision making process and to the classroom,” he says.

“There is no aspect of education in Australia today that has greater urgency than addressing of disparity in outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“While there has been a lot of strong work done in this area, the fact remains that parity of outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian students has not yet been achieved.”

Prof Buckskin says that Australia continues to be the lowest ranking OECD country in terms of social outcomes for Indigenous people and there remains an enormous need to collectively understand the legacy of colonisation.

"In countries such as the United States, Canada and even New Zealand, the treaties signed between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have provided a solid and recognised platform to build from,” he says.

“Without such a treaty in Australia, it has been and will continue to be difficult to address the realities of colonisation and progress beyond an environment of crisis and blame.”

Professor Buckskin is highly respected in the field of Indigenous education with a successful career in both Commonwealth and academic roles.

He continues to advocate the work of the Duguids in the advancement of Indigenous Education and in 2001 was awarded a Commonwealth Public Service medal for his exceptional contribution to Aboriginal Education.

In 2006 he was invited by his academic peers to become a Member of the Australian College of Educators, and was nominated in 2007 as a Fellow of the Academy.

The Duguid Memorial Lecture is free to the public and will commence at 7pm sharp in the Hawke Building’s Allan Scott Auditorium, City West campus, North Terrace, Adelaide.

Registrations close next Monday November 24.

For bookings or more information contact Libbi Langford on (08) 8302 0964 or libbi.langford@unisa.edu.au.

Download Prof Buckskin’s address  (PDF 113kb - download Adobe Acrobat).

Duguid Memorial Lecture - Indigenous Education Outcomes: Are the answers in the mainstream?

When: Thursday November 27, 7pm - 8pm (following refreshments from 6pm-6.45pm)
Where: Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, City West campus, North Terrace, Adelaide

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