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A group of people posing for a photo in front of a banner at the launch.

15 February 2023

The launch of the Deakin Indigenous Strategy

The Deakin Indigenous Strategy 2023–2028 seeks to redefine First Nations engagement within the University. Led by Professor Mark Rose, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Innovation and his team, this key strategy was created through authentic consultation with First Nations Communities, and with faculties and divisions across Deakin.

‘Today we turn a new page in First Nations education at Deakin. The Deakin Indigenous Strategy builds on the three-and-a-half-decades that the University has been a lighthouse for many First Nations peoples who sought liberation for their families, communities and themselves through education.’
Professor Mark Rose
Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Innovation

The launch

The strategy was launched at Deakin Downtown on Monday 13 February, with Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic hosting the event. Professor Iain Martin, Vice-Chancellor joined remotely to welcome attendees, and in a passionate and heartfelt address encouraged the entire Deakin community to embrace the spirit, intent and actions of the strategy.

Professor Mark Rose, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Innovation spoke about the rich heritage of First Nations engagement over the last 35 years at Deakin that has now led to the creation of the new Deakin Indigenous Strategy.

We heard from Mr Lionel Bamblett, General Manager at the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI), who reiterated the broad community and state-wide support for this extensively consulted strategy. Mr Bamblett is also a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Indigenous Advisory Council (VCIAC), which is a representative body that provides broad and diverse community perspectives and advice directly to the highest levels of the University.

Professor Gabrielle Fletcher, Director NIKERI Institute, also spoke about the Institute’s strong and enduring connection to the local and national communities from which it draws its strength, providing a culturally safe place on campus from which to make further gains under the new strategic direction. 

Advancing Indigenous Knowledges and Peoples

Deakin’s Indigenous Strategy calls for a student-centred, whole-of-University response to Indigenous education that attracts and retains Indigenous students and staff. The strategy sets out a comprehensive action plan across five domains: students, knowledge, employment, community and whole-of-University and includes step-change actions that can make a tangible difference for all our communities.

‘This strategy is one that I personally am humbled to be involved with and that has my personal commitment to helping make this real.’
Professor Iain Martin
Vice-Chancellor Deakin University

Whole-of-University approach

The strategy draws together work from across the University and is linked directly to the Deakin 2030: Ideas to Impact, Deakin Education and Employability Guiding Plan and Deakin Research and Innovation Guiding Plan.

Central to the strategy is the whole-of-University approach to implementation, recognising that every person in the University has a responsibility in this work to advance outcomes with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This strategy requires all of Deakin to commit to and participate in this crucial objective.

‘Through this Strategy, we extend our commitment to a new level that involves all of us in advancing Indigenous Knowledges and Peoples. Our action will be built in and core to our work.’
Professor Liz Johnson
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

Read the Deakin Indigenous Strategy

You can access the Deakin Indigenous Strategy on Deakin Strategic Direction webpage on the Deakin website.

Banner, from left to right: Professor Tristan Kennedy, PVC Indigenous, Monash Uni; Professor Gabriel Fletcher, Director, NIKERII; Professor Liz Johnson DVCA Deakin; Professor Mark Rose, PVC Indigenous, Deakin; Lionel Bamblett, General Manager VAEAI; Mick Coombes, Associate Director, Aboriginal Economic Development Group, DJPR; Professor Gary Thomas, PVC Indigenous, RMIT

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