QUT to launch Australia’s first Indigenous faculty

QUT Indigenous visual identity. | Newsreel
QUT will be home to Australia's first Faculty of Indigenous Knowledges and Culture | Photo: Supplied by QUT

QUT plans to double its number of Indigenous students within the next five years through Australia’s first Faculty of Indigenous Knowledges and Culture.

The stand-alone QUT faculty, which launches this year and starts taking students in 2025, will expand current education and research programs in Indigenous Knowledges and Culture for all QUT students and partner organisations.

It builds on the strong foundations in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, research and partnerships developed by the university over the past five years.

The Brisbane university’s faculty is centred on a partnership model with external stakeholders, particularly community organisations and alumni, to design and deliver academic programs and research within an environment where Indigenous Australian excellence is supported, recognised and celebrated.

It will be a high-profile connection point for the university and community and will work with partner organisations across a range of related areas including arts, health, education and training, justice, business and law, media, and sport.

It will offer award programs and pathway opportunities as well as play a key role in the university’s continuing professional education offerings.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil said the new faculty reflected a pivotal step in the evolution of the QUT Indigenous Australians strategy spanning education, research and engagement.

“We recognise the importance of hearing and supporting Indigenous voices in our university and to encourage more students, we need to offer further welcoming spaces of learning and support,” Professor Sheil said.

QUT Chancellor Ann Sherry said the faculty would drive demand from business and industry for future QUT graduates, who will have a range of opportunities to increase their understanding of Indigenous Knowledges and Culture, either through dedicated programs or through complementary study for other disciplines.

Ms Sherry anticipates there will be strong interest from business and government in the professional development programs to be offered by the faculty, given increased training and development needs in all sectors as all parts of business and government work towards initiatives under the Closing the Gap strategy.

QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Australians) Woppaburra woman Angela Barney-Leitch said the establishment of the new faculty was part of QUT’s next phase of creating intellectual spaces to incubate and support Indigenous Australian excellence and innovation.

QUT has supported its pledge to drive change in higher education’s relationship to Indigenous Australians during recent years through key leadership appointments, the expansion of the student support Oodgeroo Unit and the establishment of the Carumba Institute, led by Executive Director, Professor Chelsea Watego.

The university also has an award-winning Campus to Country strategy which guides the development of the inner-city QUT campuses, that are prominently positioned as the eyes of the world turn to Brisbane in the lead up to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Read QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil’s column in Perspectives

QUT students
QUT Indigenous Engineering students Montanna Homosi and Kiah Faiva.

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