Thursday, 26 May 2011
Edith Cowan University (ECU) has declared its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Australian communities by releasing the inaugural 2011 – 2012 Reconciliation Action Plan.
Held on National Sorry Day at an official event at the Mount Lawley Campus, the plan was jointly launched by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kerry Cox, and Minister for Education, The Hon. Dr Liz Constable (MLA).
Developed in collaboration with our Indigenous Australian communities, in the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation, the plan will provide an independent and public verification of ECU’s commitment to ‘closing the gap’.
The document focuses on education and is just one example of ECU’s commitment to the national Closing the Gap policy, which was officially endorsed by the Australian Government in March 2008.
The ECU plan outlines a number of key initiatives including:
· Providing effective support for Indigenous Australian students across all faculty levels through scholarships and targeted programs;
· Identifying and promoting research which focuses on Indigenous Australian issues; and
· Improving the representation of Indigenous Australian staff, students and community members in ECU’s decision-making processes.
Professor Cox said the action plan highlights ECU’s recognition of the importance of reconciliation, and is a major step forward in the University’s ongoing commitment to the Indigenous community.
“This plan provides a clear outline of how higher education opportunities for Indigenous Australians can help build economic independence and achieve reconciliation, thus ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” said Professor Cox.
“ECU’s vision for reconciliation is to provide a learning environment that values Indigenous Australian people, knowledge and culture, which contributes towards Indigenous Australian people receiving the same life opportunities as other Australians in a society which respects diversity, equality, and the contributions of all.”
“By developing and launching the action plan, ECU joins a handful of Australian universities who are paving the way towards reconciliation.”
To view a full version of the plan visit http://www.ecu.edu.au/about-ecu/indigenous-matters
For more information on the government’s ‘closing the gap’ policy visit http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/initiatives/pages/closingthegap.aspx
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