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Commemorating Indigenous alumni

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

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2011 is a special year for ECU – not only does it mark 150 years since the birth of the University’s namesake, Edith Dircksey Cowan, it also commemorates the 60th anniversary of ECU’s first Aboriginal graduate.

Over 90 people, including Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education, Professor Colleen Hayward and members of the Indigenous ECU community, gathered this week to mark the occasion and pay tribute to ECU’s Indigenous Alumni.

The event, entitled Rock Solid Foundations, saw the unveiling of seven granite pillars to represent the 501 ECU Indigenous alumni, including first Indigenous ECU graduate, Len Hayward.

Graduating in 1951 from ECU’s predecessor, Claremont Teachers College, Mr Hayward paved the way for Indigenous teachers, becoming WA’s first Aboriginal principal in 1979.  

Mr Hayward was a pioneer for Aboriginal teachers, and his achievements are still an inspiration to students today.

“ECU is committed to acknowledging the important role that our Indigenous Alumni have played in shaping ECU as it is today,” Professor Hayward said.

“This foundation tribute is a way to publicly recognise our ECU Indigenous Alumni and celebrate their past achievements and future successes.”

ECU cemented its commitment to the Indigenous community earlier this year by launching the inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan.

The plan provided an independent and public verification of the University’s commitment to ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

To view a full version of the plan visit Indigenous Matters webpage.

For more information on Indigenous education at ECU, visit the Kurongkurl Katitjin webpage.

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