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Media Release

May 27 2009

UniSA makes Reconciliation core business

UniSA makes Reconciliation core businessUniversity of South Australia Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj, is encouraging the UniSA community to find time to take part in events planned for Reconciliation Week in 2009.

“Reconciliation Week is now an important part of the Australian cultural calendar, marking as it does, a real opportunity to consider the social, cultural and political issues around the process of reconciliation and to take important personal steps towards a better future for all Australians,” Prof Høj said.

“It is more than a year since the official apology from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to the Indigenous people of Australia, which was a momentous event for all Australians. We need now to follow up with engagement and action.”

Professor Høj said UniSA had a particular role to play in showing leadership as a key provider of education to Indigenous university students.

“We have a history of strong advocacy for improvement in educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians but also in valuing traditional Indigenous knowledge and research perspectives,” he said.

“UniSA was the first university in Australia to have a Faculty of Aboriginal and Islander Studies – we were the first institution to mark our commitment to Reconciliation by placing special reconciliation rocks and plaques at each of our campuses and we were one of the first to add our voice of apology to Indigenous Australians for the harms done to them.”

He said UniSA had some ambitious educational targets including the goal of including relevant Indigenous content in every undergraduate program. He said it was a result of the University’s strong commitment to equity for Indigenous Australians that more students were enrolled at UniSA in full degree programs and that successful completion rates were improving annually.

“It is clearly our role to provide opportunity through education and it is a role we continue to take seriously as a part of the national strategy to ‘close the gap’ in positive life outcomes for Indigenous Australians,” he said.

The following events are being held as part of the Reconciliation Week calendar –

Reconciliation Down Rundle, Rundle Mall, Friday 29 May
The Dreaming Tent, South Australian Museum, Friday 29 May
Walk for Reconciliation and family fun day, Elder Park and Pinky Flat, Saturday 30 May
Reconciliation Action Plan Workshop, National Wine Centre, Monday 1 June


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