Today we celebrate the first anniversary of Flinders University’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan, with Kaurna Elder on Campus Uncle Lewis Yarluburka O’Brien and Flinders’ first Indigenous graduate John Moriarty AM with his wife Ros among the audience sharing a giant commemorative cake for the special RAP morning tea at Flinders University Museum of Art.
An audience of more than 60 people was welcomed by Flinders University’s inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), Associate Professor Simone Ulalka Tur, and Professor Jonathan Craig, VPED College of Medicine and Public Health – who have worked together as co-chairs of the Reconciliation Action Plan Oversight Steering Committee.
The RAP was developed over many months of consultation with students, staff, alumni and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across South Australia and the Northern Territory, and its launch set the University on its own unique journey to reconciliation.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling told the audience that the RAP – which recommends 16 core actions informed by many more deliverables, under the themes of relationships, respect, opportunities, and governance – is a signal achievement for Flinders University.
“The RAP illustrates our determination to build a new inclusiveness for Indigenous people at Flinders University grounded in the concepts of togetherness, reciprocity and respect,” said Professor Stirling.
“Implementing our RAP will embed Indigenous perspectives across University activities and deepen a commitment to our First Nations peoples, their knowledge and cultures in a spirit of equity, integrity and unity.
“We have already made considerable progress and have much to celebrate on this important first anniversary of our RAP – but we still have a way to go; in fact, this is an ever-continuing journey.”
Professor Stirling also announced that Flinders University will present an annual Reconciliation Award, which will recognise the outstanding efforts of up to three individual staff and/or teams in leading activities or projects that promote reconciliation.
The Award will be open to all staff – academic and professional – and nominations are welcomed from across the breadth of University activities, be it research, education, service or other projects.