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The peak bodies for Australia’s universities and the nation’s Indigenous academy have deepened their partnership with the signing of a formal memorandum of understanding this week.

Universities Australia and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) have worked closely in recent years to shape the sector’s Indigenous strategy.

Under the UA Indigenous Strategy launched in early 2017, universities across the nation adopted ambitious growth targets for Indigenous recruitment, retention and success. 

It also includes Indigenous research strategies, building the academic workforce and leadership, and deeper ties with Elders and local communities.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the signing of an MOU between the two peak bodies would take this important partnership to its next stage of development.

“A productive partnership has been nurtured over several years and we are delighted to take this next step to formalise the strong relationship between the organisations,” she said.

“We know that strong partnerships and leadership with and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is absolutely fundamental to sustained progress in this work.”

“We thank the leadership of NATSIHEC for taking this next step with us and for the terrific investment they have made over many years in a strong and genuine relationship that is essential for success.”

NATSIHEC President Distinguished Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson said the formalising of the partnership with an MOU was a logical next step in the development of the relationship.

“Universities can shape change across societies, and we thank UA for its commitment to pursue these shared ambitions and goals,” she said.

“Having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represented at every level of the sector will be crucial to the next set of advances we must make together.”

An even stronger partnership to extend Indigenous opportunity in universities

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