The 14 Local Aboriginal Land Councils of the State’s Northern Region and the University of New England will tomorrow sign an important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve teaching and research opportunities in Aboriginal affairs.
In a joint announcement, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Alan Pettigrew and the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council Deputy Chair and Chairman of the Northern Regional Forum, Councillor Tom Briggs, said the initiative was a significant breakthrough.
“It ushers in a new era of co-operation whereby programs to increase the capacity of Aboriginal people to participate equitably in the regional economy as a result of enhanced educational opportunities,” they said.
“We are committed to developing more appropriate higher education courses in the fields of Aboriginal culture, language and health, social and economic attainment and to enable mutually beneficial staff and student mentoring programs.”
Councillor Briggs said the MoU compliments a similar agreement recently signed between the Northern Regional Forum and the New England Institute of TAFE.
“These agreements bring to fruition the dreams and aspirations of many people,” Councillor Briggs said.
“Over time it will deliver a whole new range of higher educational opportunities for Aboriginal people in the New England Region.
“Our 14 regional land councils welcome these opportunities.
“There is no doubt that education is one of the key pathways to turning around Aboriginal disadvantage.”
Professor Pettigrew said that the University was committed to ensuring that the intent of the MoU was realised.
“We want, sincerely, to play our part to make higher education more attainable and attractive for Aboriginal people.”
“Everyone is committed to making this MoU work – and work well,” Professor Pettigrew said
Professor Pettigrew and Councillor Briggs and the Chairpersons of the 14 Local Aboriginal Land Councils will sign the joint MoU at a ceremony at the University of New England tomorrow, October 22. It will take place in the University Dining Room, Booloominbah from 2 to 3 pm.