Brief History

Historical development of Yooroang Garang: Indigenous Student Support Unit

The Aboriginal Education Unit (AEU) was established in 1983 to provide student support and conduct academic programs in Aboriginal Health, at Cumberland College of Health Sciences .The AEU, located within the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Faculty of Health Sciences, also provided training for NSW Aboriginal Health Workers through the Certificate of Aboriginal Health. This program gradually developed into the Associate Diploma (later Diploma) of Health Sciences (Aboriginal Health and Community Development) and in 1990, a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Aboriginal Health and Community Development) was developed and taught for the first time in 1993.

Prior to its amalgamation with the University of Sydney in 1985, Cumberland College of Health Sciences provided access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a special entry program known as the Special Admissions Policy. This was part of the College’s Aboriginal Education Policy developed by the Aboriginal Education Unit (AEU). Under this policy up to 5% of places within the Faculty were available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people under the Special Admissions Policy. This policy in turn became the basis for the later development of the Cadigal program in 1992.

In 1996 the AEU became ‘Yooroang Garang: The Centre for Indigenous Health Studies' at the Faculty of Health Sciences. Yooorang Garang is a Dharug word meaning ‘Strong Place’ and summaries the role of the unit. That is to provide a 'Strong place'.

In 1999 the Vice Chancellor approved the establishment of Yooroang Garang as one of the Schools the Faculty of Health Sciences. By becoming a School, Yooroang Garang demonstrated its maturity as an academic unit of the University. The core activities of the school included undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, research and student support.

As part of the restructure of the faculty in 2007, the staff and activities of Yooroang Garang; School of Indigenous Studies were separated into two organisational units namely. Yooroang Garang: Indigenous Student Support Unit and the Discipline of Indigenous Health Studies.

Staff in the Discipline of Indigenous Health are broadly responsible for teaching Indigenous health across health sciences curricula, teaching and developing curricula for postgraduate programs in Indigenous Community Health and conducting research in Indigenous health.




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