The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) through the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement, has responsibility for providing strategic leadership for the University in relation to fostering and affirming Indigenous student educational success, enacting the vision and collective commitment of the University’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.
The staff at Yungkurrinthi Student Engagement are experienced in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to successfully transition to university and meet the challenges of university life. Staff work directly with students to provide one-on-one support on a range of matters.
Indigenous Voice to Parliament
Flinders University Statement
Flinders University’s collective vision is to foster an environment that recognises and embraces Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, knowledges and cultures. This vision for reconciliation is grounded in the concepts of togetherness, reciprocity, and respect.
This Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is part of Flinders University’s ongoing work to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community participation, retention and success in higher education and commits to celebrating Indigenous success and self determination.
This is a whole-of-University responsibility.
Elders on Campus is a University-wide initiative to engage more deeply with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, enhance Indigenous perspectives across education and research, and enrich support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff – aligning with Flinders University’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Flinders University acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which its campuses are located, these are the Traditional Lands of the Arrernte, Dagoman, First Nations of the South East, First Peoples of the River Murray & Mallee region, Jawoyn, Kaurna, Larrakia, Ngadjuri, Ngarrindjeri, Ramindjeri, Warumungu, Wardaman and Yolngu people. We honour their Elders and Custodians past, present and emerging.
Yungkurrinthi Inparrila, meaning ‘meeting place’ in Kaurna, is a dedicated outdoor space situated next to the Yungkurrinthi Trruku (Building) at Bedford Park, which honours and acknowledges Country, cultural knowledge and learning.
Yungkurrinthi Inparrila (meeting place) offers a space to host Welcome to Country, smoking ceremonies, events and gatherings, and learning and teaching activities. It provides a place of wellbeing and healing, a place to grieve, and somewhere to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities together.
The official opening of the space was held in June 2022, when the final design component a Kaurna ‘Wardli’ (shelter) was installed. The Wardli, designed by Kaurna artist James Tylor and Wiradjuri architectural designer Samantha Rich, is the center piece of the space.
Yungkurrinthi Inparrila would not have been possible without the generous support of the late Ms. Shirley Mathews, a former Flinders student, who left a considerable bequest to the University and it’s this generosity which has enabled Yungkurrinthi Inparrila to become a reality. To honour Ms. Mathews, a plaque sits within the space to ensure future generations of the Flinders community will remember her generous contribution to the University.
The project was completed in partnership with Flinders University Properties, Facilities and Development, WAX Design, Iguana Creative and SARAH Construction.
At Flinders University, we recognise the unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians as First Nations people, and are committed to Indigenous education and engagement.
Our Strategic Plan, The 2025 Agenda: Making a Difference, states our commitment to: engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, students, staff and the community respecting Indigenous knowledge systems and perspectives, progressing Indigenous advancement in education, research, employment and wellbeing.
Equal engagement and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in higher education through the recognition of, and respect for, Indigenous peoples, knowledge and culture.
To provide strategic leadership for the University in relation to the Indigenisation of its programs, the recognition of Indigenous knowledges and perspectives, the promotion of teaching and research in Indigenous studies, the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, increasing the participation of, and opportunities for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and engagement with Indigenous communities and issues.
In 2009 the Government of Australia declared its support for the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement endorses the declaration and in particular Article 15 (1) recognising that Indigenous Peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations and strives to ensure that these rights are appropriately reflected in education and public information.
Observing the Articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ‘as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect’, the Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement recognises Indigenous Peoples as sovereign peoples with rights to the affirmation of their cultural, spiritual and social development. In recognising and practicing these rights, we aim for excellence in our governance, teaching, research, student support and community service to provide meaningful outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples’ engagement with Flinders University.
To achieve our aims, we are guided by and apply important values at every possible opportunity – in our work, in our relationships, in our working environment and with our Communities for whom our effort is conducted and is relevant.
The name Yunggorendi (now used by Yunggorendi Student Engagement), was given to us by Kaurna people, traditional owners of the lands and waters on which the Bedford Park campus of Flinders University is situated. The values by which we conduct our affairs are framed from our name and core purpose – ‘to impart knowledge, to communicate, to inform’ in and through higher education:
The artwork is the creation of contemporary Aboriginal artist Elizabeth Close, a Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara woman and Flinders alumna, who graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Nursing in 2011
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