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New guidelines launched today will help recruit and support the next generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates as they pursue research degrees and research careers.

Developed by the Australian Council of Graduate Research in collaboration with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium, the resource offers guidance for research candidates, supervisors and universities.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the Good Practice Guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Education would help to deliver the next generation of Australia’s Indigenous researchers and academic leaders.

“It’s terrific to see these guidelines build on good practice already underway at individual universities and complement the UA Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020,” Ms Jackson said. 

“These guidelines complement our targets to lift university enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by 50 per cent above the growth rate of non-Indigenous students as we strive to close the gap,” she said.

“Australia’s Indigenous knowledges span more 60,000 years and predate the establishment of our oldest universities by millennia. Indigenous researchers have a key role in advancing Australia’s knowledge and in Australia's research agenda.” 

“We congratulate the ACGR and NATSIHEC on developing this practical resource that will support our universities to build knowledge and practice.” 

NATISHEC Chair and Narungga man Professor Peter Buckskin said the peak body for the Indigenous academy supported the guidelines, which underscored the role of quality and connectedness in growing the number of Indigenous graduate researchers.

“It sends a clear message to Indigenous scholars that they have a rightful place in the graduate research community and we hope it will help both them and their universities to build capacity in a rigorous academic research environment,” he said.

Ms Jackson said there are around 600 Indigenous research students enrolled at Australia’s universities -- “so we want to grow that number and build on the strong gains of the past decade”.

“Sharing best practice will grow the number of Indigenous Australians accessing the life-changing opportunities that come through university education and research.”

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