CPC Semester 2 program: What does success in Indigenous higher education look like?

Critical Public Conversations webinar series Semester 2, 2020. More information and registration.

All webinars will be conducted via Zoom. Register for each seminar via Eventbrite and the link will be emailed to you prior to the webinar date.

In her chapter in the book Questioning Indigenous-Settler Relations, Dr Nikki Moodie asks ‘What does success in Indigenous higher education look like?’(2019, p. 107). She notes that while there is data that shows there are very real, very positive achievements, she still finds herself asking ‘what is this all for’? (2019, p. 110). Is it enough for universities to simply enrol more Indigenous students? Is it enough for more Indigenous students to be completing qualifications? Have ‘our ideas of success [been] adopted simply because they are easy to measure?’ (2019, p. 113) Challenging the reader to think beyond metrics and parity targets, to ‘a challenge at the heart of Indigenous-settler relations’ (2019, p. 117), Moodie says: ‘I want to open up a more expansive conversation about what the purpose is of a university that properly recognises Indigenous peoples, land and languages’ (2019, p. 116).

In the second program of the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration’s Critical Public Conversations series, the IRSC has invited Indigenous and settler scholars and educators to contribute to this conversation and to discuss Moodie’s call to ‘seize the future and imagine bold, new—Indigenous—futures’ (2019, p. 121).

Wednesday August 12th 12pm

Keynote: Dr Nikki Moodie

In this keynote address, Dr Nikki Moodie opens the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration second Critical Public Conversations series by questioning what success really means in Indigenous higher education. After a decade of failure, the new Closing the Gap targets suggest that 70% of young Indigenous people will have a tertiary qualification in a decade. How will the sector respond to the rapid structural changes necessary to enrol and retain Indigenous young people in Australian universities, at least doubling current rates? In this address, Dr Moodie suggests that what we mean when we say ‘Indigenous education’ must be urgently clarified if young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities are to be better served by the sector. As calls for universities to decolonize their curriculum and built environment increase, how can we imagine more culturally relevant ways of understanding our relationships between settler and Indigenous systems and knowledges to achieve Indigenous aspirations in higher education?

Register via Eventbrite.

Wednesday September 9th 12pm

‘Savaging the Disciplines: reflections and futures for Indigenous higher education’

A conversation between Associate Dean (Indigenous) of the Faculty of Arts Associate Professor Sana Nakata and Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy at James Cook University Professor Martin Nakata.

Register via Eventbrite.

Wednesday 21st October 10am
Professor Sandy Grande

More details and registration to follow.

Other confirmed speakers in the series include:
  • Lilly Brown, Lecturer in Indigenous Studies and Fiona Belcher, Bachelor of Arts Extended subject co-ordinator (October).
  • Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Professor Elizabeth McKinley (November).

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More Information

Claire Akhbari


+613 8344 1276