Griffith University celebrated the official opening of its new centre for the GUMURRII Student Support Unit at the Gold Coast campus today, during Reconciliation Week.
In commencing proceedings Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Ian O’Connor said, “I am thrilled that the first major opening of 2013 provides the Griffith community with an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our GUMURRII staff and students.”
“Today’s launch is the first of a number of major openings that will be taking place on our campuses during 2013. While modern, state of the art facilities are important, it is the work that goes on within them that really makes the difference. Professor O’Connor said.
“This is especially the case of the GUMURRII Student Support Unit which has provided amazing assistance to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for over 25 years.”
The centre was officially opened by Griffith University Chancellor, Ms Leneen Forde, AC. along with Elder-in-Residence, Uncle Graham Dillon OAM DUniv who gave the Cultural Welcome.
“It is appropropriate that the design of the GUMURRII Student Support Unit should feature important cultural aspects of the traditional custodians of the land,” Chancellor Forde said.
“The Kombumerri Ngarang-Wal group were consulted during the initial planning stages of this building and sanctioned the use of the culturally significant image of the shovel nose shark.”
“I would like to recognise the great work of our GUMURRII staff under the leadership of the Director, Bronwyn Dillon. The launch of this new facility is a perfect time to recognise and celebrate the Unit’s success in increasing the access, participation, retention and success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at Griffith,” said Ms Forde.
The centre has been created within the new Gold Coast library extension (G11) to accommodate the staff and students of the GUMURRII Student Support Unit, which assists students with cultural, academic and personal issues.
Griffith University is launching a suite of initiatives under its three-year ‘New Griffith 2013-2016’ program, signifying an intensive period of change and innovation.