Indigenous initiatives


The Faculty of Arts is committed to increasing our recruitment and retention of Indigenous staff and students and believes that Indigenous Australians bring a wealth of experience, expertise, knowledge and skills that will inform, enrich and fundamentally improve the Faculty.


In line with The University of Melbourne's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) developed in 2010, the Faculty has developed an Indigenous Employment Plan and an Indigenous Student Recruitment Plan, both of which specify targets and strategies for the period 2012-2015.

Indigenous employment

In April 2011, a Faculty of Arts Indigenous Employment Framework Working Group was established in order to develop the local Indigenous Employment Plan (IEP).

The Indigenous Employment Plan (IEP), 2012-2015, includes a number of promising initiatives:

  • Improved attraction and engagement strategies through targeted advertising
  • Provision of additional support to Indigenous applicants
  • Development of an Indigenous cadetship program
  • Development of new and innovative cultural awareness mediums such as public lectures and seminars

The Faculty of Arts Indigenous Employment Framework Working Group is co-chaired by Associate Professor Lesley Stirling, Assistant Dean (Equal Opportunity) and Philip Morrissey, Academic Coordinator of the Faculty of Arts Australian Indigenous Studies program and the Bachelor of Arts (Extended) for Indigenous students at The University of Melbourne. Philip and Lesley can be contacted by email or by telephone:

Lesley Stirling
Email: lesleyfs@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 5192

Philip Morrissey
Email: philipjm@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 6036

Indigenous student recruitment and retention

In May 2012, a Faculty Indigenous Student Recruitment Plan Implementation Working Group was constituted to oversee the implementation of the Faculty’s Indigenous Student Recruitment and Retention Plan (ISRRP).

The Indigenous Student Plan 2012-2015 outlines a range of strategies that aim to increase the enrolment and retention of Indigenous students in Faculty programs. These include:

  • New targeted marketing strategies, particularly for graduate courses and to the BA (Extended), to reach and attract a wide range of Indigenous applicants
  • Stipends and scholarships for Indigenous students and prioritisation of Indigenous students for access and equity CSP places and bursaries
  • Provision of additional support to existing Indigenous students
  • Early engagement and career pathway activities for potential and existing students

The Faculty Indigenous Student Recruitment Plan Implementation Group is chaired by Ms Joanne Ligouris, Executive Manager of the Faculty, and includes in its membership key Faculty portfolio holders such as the Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), the Associate Dean (Advancement) the Director, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Department Manager of Arts for Stop 1 and members of the Marketing and Student Recruitment team in the Office of Graduate Studies.

The Working Group liaises closely with the Faculty Indigenous Employment Framework Working Group. Further information can be obtained from Ms Amelia Scurry, Executive Projects Officer, Office of the Dean.

Amelia Scurry
Email: alscurry@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 9035 3459

Project profiles

Minutes of Evidence Project: Promoting new and collaborative ways of understanding Australia’s past and engaging with structural justice

The project seeks to advance public awareness of social inequalities and to strengthen the fabric of Australian society by promoting a shared understanding of the nation's past. Through a unique collaboration between academics, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous creative artists, educators, and government and community organisations, the project offers innovative tools and methods - including public performance outcomes - to promote effective public engagement with Australia's history and its legacy, sparking new conversations about structural justice and injustice within, and between, Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

For more information please visit the School of Social and Political Sciences website.

Research Unit for Indigenous Language

The University of Melbourne has recently established the Research Unit for Indigenous language (RUIL) in the School of Languages and Linguistics. This research unit is the first of its kind in Australia and its overarching focus is to undertake research relevant to understanding:

What is the nature of Indigenous language in Australia in all of its forms, across generations and communities, and how can we identify and address the needs of Indigenous people and their languages into the future?

For more information please visit the Research Unit for Indigenous Language website.

Watch a video on Indigenous Languages and Linguistics featuring Associate Professor Rachel Nordlinger, from the Research Unit for Indigenous Language, where she discusses some of her findings from a study of the Murrinh-patha language, spoken by the Northern Territory community of Wadeye.

Australian Indigenous Studies

Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne is an exciting interdisciplinary program that offers students an opportunity to learn about the history and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australian Indigenous Studies in the Faculty of Arts is a value driven program based on interdisciplinary principles, intellectual exchange and social relevance.

For more information please visit the School of Culture and Communication website.

Bachelor of Arts Extended

The Bachelor of Arts (Extended) is a course for motivated and aspiring Indigenous students who have not obtained the results for direct entry into the Bachelor of Arts. The Bachelor of Arts (Extended) is a four year program which includes a year of bridging subjects to ensure success for students.

For more information please visit the BA website.

Acknowledgement of Country

The University of Melbourne acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which of our campuses are situated. We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who have made a contribution to the life of the University community.

For more information about the University’s Indigenous Initiatives please visit the Murrup Barak (Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development) website.

Staff of the Faculty of Arts can find more information about the Faculty’s Indigenous Employment and Indigenous Student Plans on the staff intranet.