ACU is delighted to observe and celebrate NAIDOC Week 2021. This year’s theme, Heal Country! – calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
The university calls on its staff, students and stakeholders to take this opportunity to reflect on how we all, as individuals and as a community, can take steps to show greater respect for country and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
ACU was one of the first Australian universities to formally support the reconciliation movement with our Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation, which was launched in 1998.
ACU aims to be a culturally safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff. To further formalise our commitment, we implemented a Reconciliation Action Plan 2019 – 2021, a strategic document that outlines practical actions we can take 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.
In partnership with the First Peoples Directorate, ACU aims to build capability, remove barriers to university participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are also integral to our commitment to reconciliation. They foster excellence in learning and teaching, student success and community engagement.
We are also honoured to have many exceptional alumni who come from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. From Theresa Ardler, an ACU alumni using art to heal old wounds, to Derek Chong, Queensland’s first Aboriginal psychiatrist, to Julie Appo, who launched a fashion design business in her seventies.
ACU will formally celebrate NAIDOC Week with a range of events organised by our First Peoples Directorate later this month.