Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander commitment
We are committed to embedding voices and perspectives of First Nations peoples at the forefront of our decision making to create an environment in which everyone thrives.
At Curtin, we have a long history of being at the forefront of reconciliation in higher education. We first began delivering education programs to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the 1970s. Since then, our non-Indigenous and First Nations people have continued to work together to shape learning, teaching and research.
Creating opportunities for our First Nations staff, students and community
Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can access a range of customised support services to help them settle in and succeed at Curtin and in their future careers. These services include the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS), counselling, work placements, financial assistance, scholarships and Curtin Student Guild representation.
Through our aspiration-raising activities in the community, we facilitate pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students to access higher education. These outreach initiatives are run primarily by the Curtin Addressing Higher Education Access Disadvantage (AHEAD) team and include tailored experiences such as the Follow the Dream program.
We are also committed to increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed at Curtin, from student placement roles through to senior academic and professional appointments.
Aboriginal Student Placement Program
Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have opportunities to help prepare themselves for future careers through work placements at Curtin.
Embedding First Nations knowledge in all that we do
As an education and research institution, we seek to embed all First Nations knowledges in teaching and research through our Indigenous Cultural Capabilities Framework (ICCF).
Our Cultural Capability team, with senior First Nation staff, guide and coordinate this framework through authentic professional development and On-Country immersion learning experiences offered to staff, students and the wider community. The team also customises education and training for industry and community organisations. These ICCF-related experiences are taught by Aboriginal Elders and encourage participants to learn about the historical and contemporary issues relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Our goal is for all Curtin students to graduate with cross-cultural capabilities and have an applied understanding of local First Peoples’ katajininy warniny (translated from the Nyungar language as “ways of being, knowing and doing”). To achieve this, we have strived to integrate First Peoples’ knowledges into our curricula through the graduate capabilities and course learning outcomes for all Curtin students.
Curtin also has an Indigenous Australian governance framework [.pdf 195KB], which underpins our Indigenous governance and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and leaders across Curtin to collaborate with community members to shape our strategic direction, policy and curriculum.
Curtin staff and students are immersed in an environment that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Aboriginal artwork and Nyungar words and phrases are featured across our campuses and digital presences. For example, Curtin’s Give to Change program and Moorditj Yorga Scholarship Program use commissioned artwork from Aboriginal alumna. Curtin is the proud custodian for the Carrolup and Marribank Artwork collection, known as The Herbert Mayer Collection of Carrolup Artwork.
We also hold events and celebrations for significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander occasions, including NAIDOC week and Reconciliation Week.
Championing Indigenous-led research
Curtin has several research projects and programs led by senior First Nations researchers. This research connects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students with communities and provides collaborative research partnerships.
Some of our current research includes:
- Professor Stephen van Leeuwen’s Healing Country project
- Professor Kim Scott’s Indigenous Culture and Digital Technologies program
- Professor Cheryl Kickett-Tucker’s Cultural Learnings project.