An innovative program that builds the capacity of Queensland University of Technology staff to integrate Indigenous perspectives into their practice has so far been adopted by nearly 600 colleagues.
The program has been so successful that it may soon be offered to staff at other universities.
QUT’s Indigenous Perspectives in Learning and Teaching module is the only accredited pathway for the Associate Member (Indigenous) Award of the Academy of Higher Education and allows QUT staff to be recognized for having demonstrated an emerging commitment to Indigenous perspectives in learning and teaching.
It is a partnership between the Carumba Institute and the QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching and co-led by Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics.
Program designers Prof Abby Cathcart and Prof Peter Anderson said they wanted to model respectful partnerships and send the key message that this is everyone’s business, not just the work that should be left to staff. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
The program is part of QUT’s commitment to the engagement, success and empowerment of Indigenous Australians, and reflects the strategy to recognize the university’s occupation of Indigenous lands and to recognize obligations to peoples. Turrbal and Yugara.
QUT Vice-Chancellor Margaret Sheil said the program was a practical way to create change and greater awareness among Indigenous peoples, ensuring Indigenous perspectives are represented in all teaching activities and learning.
The course aims to enable participants to engage with the diversity of Indigenous perspectives in Australia; define the key principles underlying the sovereignty of indigenous peoples in Australia; and apply knowledge of indigenous perspectives and protocols for respectful engagement with indigenous peoples.
Once they have completed the module, participants are then invited to apply for recognition as an Associate Member of HEA (Indigenous), the first specialist award under the established HEA scholarship program developed by Advance HE.
The course is open to academic, professional and sessional staff who teach or support learners.
Launched in February 2020, over 600 staff have signed up to take the module, and 300 have completed it to date. Over 70 staff members have already been successfully awarded the AFHEA (Indigenous) award.