Australian Catholic University has launched its three-year Reconciliation Action Plan, which provides practical actions to further the university's role in reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Speaking at the launch event at the Mount Saint Mary Campus in Sydney's Strathfield, ACU Vice-Chancellor Greg Craven recalled ACU’s work in the space of reconciliation.
ACU was one of the first Australian universities to formally support the reconciliation movement, with our Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation, launched in 1998.
Last year ACU also took a lead in developing a set of proposals for how our nation’s constitution could be amended to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are represented in Parliament.
“Our University’s commitment to reconciliation and constitutional recognition is absolutely vital,” Professor Craven said.
He said the RAP would help ACU solidify its commitment to involving Indigenous people in the life of the university, and to making Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives integral to our curriculum.
“It ensures we will continue to provide meaningful opportunities and to encourage greater participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in tertiary education, empowering them to reach their full academic and economic potential,” Professor Craven said.
“And it allows our university to drive a broader change agenda, providing a framework to enable us to play a role in improving the lives and respecting the dignity of Australia’s Indigenous people.”
Jane Ceolin, the Director of First Peoples and Equity Pathways, said the RAP had been two years in the making and was an important, strategic document for ACU.
“The RAP includes practical actions that will drive our contribution to reconciliation both within ACU and in our engagement with the community,” Ms Ceolin said.
The RAP is an overarching document, which also takes into consideration ACU’s existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Employment Strategy and our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy, which is near completion.
PHOTO: Professor Elizabeth Labone, left, Jane Ceolin, Professor Dermot Nestor, Professor Terri Joiner, ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven and CEO of Reconciliation Australia Karen Mundine.