Thousands of UQ staff are ready to enhance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural learning

17 November 2020

University of Queensland staff will have greater access to training on a detailed exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures and contemporary issues, thanks to an innovative online education foundation course.

Around 17,000 staff at all levels will complete units of Core Cultural Learning to strengthen the University’s cultural capability.

UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese (centre) shows staff early adopters, Professor Greg Hainge and Sybilla Wilson the Core Cultural Learning website.

The informative and interactive online course was developed by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) to create a greater awareness of the vast history, cultural heritage and contemporary issues of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“This course allows for an individual’s self-discovery and is designed to stimulate a continued journey of exploration,” UQ Chancellor Peter Varghese said.

“UQ is committed to the broader national objective of reconciliation. It is unfinished business for us as a nation. Reconciliation requires mutual respect and understanding and this course is designed to deepen our understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and contemporary issues,” the Chancellor said.

“Reconciliation must occur at all levels and each of us has a responsibility to advance it. By taking this course we learn more about our shared history. It enhances our collective cultural competence which is important to improving outcomes for, and with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

UQ’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks said the Core Foundation Course would provide staff with a more meaningful context to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

“These high-quality resources will help create a culturally-sensitive workplace environment while embedding values of diversity and cultural learning into our workplace culture,” Professor Fredericks said.

“It aligns with our Reconciliation Action Plan goals and offers professional development along with greater understanding of a person’s own cultural perspectives.”

AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie said Core supported individuals and organisations in their journey towards cultural competence, within a larger narrative of cultural resurgence and truth-telling.

"The University’s engagement with our online training demonstrates the desire to understand our shared history and truth telling," Mr Ritchie said.

"Core is an essential part in the journey of reconciliation but Core does so much more, as training modules developed and told by Indigenous Australians enable course participants to reflect at a personal level to create change.

“I commend the University of Queensland and their commitment in promoting a greater understanding between all Australians while ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures are respected, valued and celebrated."

The University will be the largest higher education institution to engage with Core, alongside almost 80 Commonwealth Government agencies.

Core is also taken up by a range of other users in the education, not-for-profit, small-to-medium-enterprise, and corporate sectors.

This online training course comprises of 10 interactive modules delivered through self-paced learning activities, and opportunity for critical self-reflection and additional learnings.

The Core Foundation Course will be available online for UQ staff to complete from Monday 23 November 2020.

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