Oorala Aboriginal Centre’s Role - Participation
In 2014, Oorala’s strategies to improve participation included:
- Oorala’s Student Relationship Officer/Elder in Residence and the Convenor of the TRACKS Program visited students and Education staff at Woodford Correctional Centre, South East Queensland. Oorala discussed with the students their progress in TRACKS, plans for further study at UNE and learning materials.
- Orientation activities including the Centre’s Pre-Orientation Program (‘POP’) for on and off campus TRACKS students and involvement in major UNE orientation events for commencing UNE students (‘Townies’ Welcome BBQ, Lifesaver Day, etc), to foster early engagement and participation by local and regional students.
- Oorala’s Student Retention Project increased the Centre’s capacity for student engagement with its support services and ITAS tutoring, including workshops, visits to prospective and enrolled students in regional communities and involvement of local Elders and community groups in on campus engagement activities.
- Involvement in ‘Youth Expo’ and ‘Well Fair Day’ at UNE, ‘A Day in the Dale’ organised by Armidale Dumaresq Council and other events with the UNE and local communities featuring Aboriginal services, organisations and local cultural activities.
- Oorala submitted and supported a number of proposals for HEPPP funded projects to increase Aboriginal people’s participation from target regions in higher education through community engagement. Oorala has been successful in most of its proposals which are commencing in 2015, including extension of funding for its Student Retention Project.
- A UNE team was organised by the Indigenous Student Association with support from UNE, Oorala and other sponsors to participate in the National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games held at the University of Western Australia.
- Items noted under Oorala’s role in Access, Outreach and Support are also relevant to participation.
Outline of strategies
Build the number of indigenous HDR students
Three new Apted Honours and Postgraduate Scholarships offered for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Students (2014). Research Fellowships through Vice-Chancellor’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship Scheme (from 2013). New HDR Participation Scholarships for ATSI Masters and PhD students (2015).
All new Apted scholarships awarded in 2014.
Continuation of inaugural Fellowship;
School of Law Fellow to be recruited in 2015. 4 new UNE HDR Participation Scholarships for ATSI Masters and PhD students to be offered in 2015.
(see details under ‘Programs to improve access’)
UNE Business School continued to offer courses with Indigenous content
Dependent upon allocation of targeted promotion to prospective students
ATSI enrolments in Business have remained steady (25 in 2013, 28 in 2014) for courses from Diploma through to undergraduate and postgraduate level, with a promising increase in postgraduate Business degree enrolments (8 in 2013, 12 in 2014)
UNE MATSITI Exploratory Research Project
Funded by the ‘More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative’ (MATSITI), commenced in 2014 by School of Education with Oorala Aboriginal Centre, includes strategy development to improve participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teacher education students at UNE.
MATSITI Funding guidelines and voluntary student participation
Student surveys, analysis and consultations undertaken in 2014. The research phase will conclude in 2015 and a follow-up action phase will commence in 2016.