Griffith University has officially launched its Reconciliation Action Plan for 2012 to 2015.
It’s a three year blueprint for advancing recognition of and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and communities.
Chancellor Leneen Forde AC said the Reconciliation Action Plan is just the latest milestone in Griffith’s proud tradition of creating a University for all.
“Today we are doing something more than just acknowledging and paying our respects,” the Chancellor said.
“We are actively launching something that will give practical and meaningful shape to the undertaking we make when we say those words.”
Hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the Griffith community were involved in drawing up the plan which was developed in consultation with Reconciliation Australia.
Members of the Griffith University Council of Elders welcomed the initiative which they say sends a powerful reconciliation message well beyond the Griffith community.
“We have to show the rest of the world how it is done,” said Uncle Graham Dillon.
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Marilyn McMeniman AM, said she was very proud to be standing together with members of the oldest living culture to launch the Reconciliation Action Plan. Professor McMeniman is also Chair of the Griffith University Equity Committee Development.
“We are extremely proud of having the largest number of indigenous students of any university in Australian and the largest number of graduates, “Professor McMeniman said.
Work on the plan began in late 2010, with submissions drawn from students and staff across all campuses.
President of the Griffith Indigenous Students Association (GISA) Phil Mairu (pictured) urged all members of the Griffith University community to embrace this reconciliation commitment, the cornerstones of which are responsibility, recognition and respect.
“It is a living process, not just a piece of paper. It is not just some token words but a living breathing document that all are responsible for carrying out,” Mr Mairu said.
The Reconciliation Action Plan will be reviewed and revised as part of an ongoing process and a new Reconciliation Action Plan formulated for 2016 – 2019.