University of Queensland commemorates National Reconciliation Week

The University of Queensland is embracing National Reconciliation Week and its theme for 2022, ‘Be Brave. Make Change.’

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement), Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, said UQ is making change by improving access to tertiary studies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“Education is a powerful tool and has a positive ripple effect – for the student, for the community and our society more broadly,” Professor Fredericks said.

UQ offers a number of scholarship programs and pathways to enhance accessibility and assist Indigenous students, where needed, to undertake studies.

Professor Fredericks said that effort needs to continue.

“Until we close the gap in higher education participation and outcomes, the goals of reconciliation will remain elusive,” she said.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the university’s Reconciliation Action Plan is centred on shaping the future, by understanding our past and present.

“We are striving to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in everything we do, and build an inclusive community that works respectfully and collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and communities,” Professor Terry said.

Over the last year, initiatives have included the launch of the UQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research and Innovation Strategy, a new UQ Library tool to increase access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander materials and the opening of student residential building Kev Carmody House.

“We still have a way to go, but I am very proud of the steps we have taken so far to identify and break down barriers and enhance excellence with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to study, research or teach at UQ,” she said.

“My sincere hope is that by taking bold and decisive action, we will continue to see real and lasting progress as we walk together on the path to Reconciliation.”

UQ is hosting a number of events to commemorate National Reconciliation Week.