Innovative program set to be expanded

An innovative program that builds the capacity of Queensland University of Technology staff to integrate Indigenous perspectives into their practice has so far been taken up by nearly 600 colleagues.

The program has been so successful that it may soon be offered to staff from other universities.

QUT’s Indigenous Perspectives in Learning and Teaching module is the only accredited pathway for the award of Associate Fellow (Indigenous) of the Higher Education Academy and enables QUT staff to be recognised for demonstrating an emerging engagement with Indigenous perspectives in learning and teaching.

It is a partnership between the Carumba Institute and QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching and co-led by Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics.

Professor Peter Anderson (front left) and Professor Abby Cathcart (front centre) with QUT staff.

The designers of the program, Professor Abby Cathcart and Professor Peter Anderson, said that they wanted to model respectful partnerships and send the key message that this was everyone’s business, not just work that should be left to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff.

The program is part of QUT’s commitment to Indigenous Australian engagement, success and empowerment, and reflects the strategy to acknowledge the university’s occupation of Aboriginal land, and to recognise the obligations to the Turrbal and Yugara people.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil said the program was a practical way to create change and greater awareness of Indigenous peoples, by ensuring Indigenous perspectives were represented throughout all teaching and learning activities.

The course aims to enable participants to engage with the diversity of Indigenous perspectives people in Australia; outline key principles underpinning the sovereignty of Indigenous people in Australia; and apply knowledge of Indigenous perspectives and protocols for respectful engagement with Indigenous people.

Once they have completed the module, participants are then be invited to apply for recognition as an Associate Fellow of the HEA (Indigenous), the first specialist award under the established HEA Fellowship scheme developed by Advance HE.

The course is open to academic, professional, and sessional staff who teach or support learners.

Launched in February 2020, more than 600 staff have signed up to do the module, with 300 completing it to date. More than 70 staff members have already successfully been recognised with the award of AFHEA (Indigenous).

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