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Spirit of Reconciliation alive and well at CQUni

Spirit of Reconciliation alive and well at CQUni

Published:08 August 2017

Presenters for the RAP Launch included Deputy Chancellor Dr Robyn Minchinton, Profesor Bronwyn Fredericks - the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Chair in Indigenous Engagement - and Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman. BELOW: Professor Fredericks (centre) with Traditional Owners 'Uncle' Phillip Obah (Woorabinda area) and 'Aunty' Jeanette Wyles (Townsville area). Ms Wyles conducted the Welcome to Country ceremony.

The spirit of Reconciliation is alive and well at CQUniversity, which launched its Reconciliation Action Plan this week.

The University chose the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the 10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to launch and highlight the important messages contained within its RAP.

Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Chair in Indigenous Engagement, said that "CQUniversity’s Reconciliation Action Plan moves us now to a process of doing more than reflecting, to that of action and working towards change for the future".

"Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) do this by providing a framework for organisations to realise their vision for reconciliation; being practical plans of action built on relationships, respect and opportunities; and work to create social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians."

Speaking at the launch, Professor Fredericks said "we all stand at a time in history where we within our lifetimes will need to make some decisions going forward as to what type of nation we will be with respect to the positioning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and what type of relationships we will all have with one another as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples".

"CQUniversity has worked towards today over many years from the establishment of the Reconciliation Statement in 2002, to consultations with staff, students, community members and stakeholders across multiple campuses and feedback on drafts.

"We then worked with leadership from the Office of Indigenous Engagement to develop our RAP, which was endorsed by Reconciliation Australia on 07 June 2017. Reconciliation Australia is the lead body for reconciliation in Australia. At the time our RAP was endorsed, only 12 other universities and one TAFE had RAPs endorsed by Reconciliation Australia."

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman encouraged all staff and students to get behind CQUniversity’s RAP and to work towards addressing the disparities in education and broader society between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

‘Universities can make a difference. We as a University are making a difference and will continue to make a difference by using our RAP as a blueprint for change. Our work doesn’t stop here with the launch; we will continue to work towards moving forward and working towards being a leader in Indigenous education," Professor Bowman said.

"CQUniversity’s Reconciliation Action Plan will go live on both the CQUniversity website and Reconciliation Australia’s website from the launch time, demonstrating our commitment and partnership going forward."