Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor said the public acknowledgement of the University’s responsibility and commitment to provide equitable educational opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was in line with Griffith’s ethos.
“Led by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee and involving Elders, local community members, and Griffith University staff and students this statement is a reflection of our commitment to real and meaningful reconciliation,” Professor O’Connor said.
“With campuses built on traditional land, we recognise the Indigenous custodianship of Griffith lands and have always fostered strong ties to the Indigenous community, through partnerships such as the GUMURRII Student Support Unit, the Cape York Institute and the Office for Community Partnerships.
“While we have constantly strived to promote an inclusive University community that values cultural diversity, formalising our vision at the same time as the Referendum milestone seemed entirely appropriate.”
Mr Graham Dillon, Kombumerri and Ngarang-Wal Elder and Chair of the University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee, said he was proud to be involved with the development of the statement and pleased with the end result.
“This statement means real recognition of the Indigenous community at Griffith and symbolises our shared goal to improve learning opportunities about Indigenous culture and heritage, and of our collective experiences,” Mr Dillon said.
One strategy to provide greater visibility of Indigenous culture on campus will see new flagpoles installed on the launch day to display the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
“The flags will serve as an important symbol of cultural respect and recognition,” Professor O’Connor said.
Griffith University’s Statement on Reconciliation will be officially launched by Chancellor Leneen Forde, AC. The program will include Indigenous dance performances by the Yuggera dancers.