Financing the integrated strategy

Photo of Jonathan Bogais and Dale McLeod reading

Sociologist and journalist Dr Jonathan Bogais, working in partnership with Aunty Dale McLeod, sister of the late Aboriginal activist and leader, Charles “Chicka” Dixon, on the making of the Chicka Dixon Story. This project has great significance for contemporary Aboriginal history and is supported by the University of Sydney.

The integrated strategy lists a series of initiatives, which are grouped into three major themes – opportunity, capability and rights – and described on 'realising our future'. Within this matrix initiatives are grouped into six focus areas. While the strategy has a whole-of-University focus, implementation will be located, in the main, in faculties and PSUs.

The execution of the integrated strategy will depend upon a mixed model of financing. Some initiatives are reliant on changes to core business practices and are therefore intended to be cost neutral, others will incur marginal or partial costs, while some specific initiatives will come at full cost. In some cases, financing will fall to the University alone. In other examples, we will partner with one or more external parties to deliver the outcomes the strategy establishes.

The level of change outlined in the strategy requires commitment and cooperation from all faculties and PSUs within a whole-of-University perspective. This level of engagement and action in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander space has never been attempted by an Australian university before.

Repositioning the integrated strategy within the budget priorities and financial strategy of the University will require specific attention and capacity. The University will make a financial contribution to the strategy that demonstrates to our students and staff, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to other observers and potential supporters that we are committed; that we are serious about Aboriginal education, research and engagement.

The cost of initiatives that fall to the University directly and which have a pan-University impact will be shared across the University. The strategy includes the establishment of an incentives pool, including a merit appointment incentive scheme. Finance for the pool is to be drawn from a top slice of the University’s budget. The University will set the top slice annually depending on the budget demands identified in local implementation plans. It is anticipated that approximately 80 percent of this top slice will flow back to faculties and PSUs, including for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander appointment incentive.

Even with the creation of an incentives pool it is not possible to meet the total cost of the entire integrated strategy from existing budgets. Where additional effort cannot nor should not be met from existing resources, additional new funds will be required.

The University will accelerate and intensify its partnerships with government and industry to identify and fund specific initiatives at a whole-of-University, faculty and PSU level for which external support is required. In addition the University will incorporate the strategy’s focus and initiatives in its development effort.

To maintain faith with students, staff and our partners it will be important for the University to be transparent about its contributions and its use of external funding. This will be addressed in the University’s regular reporting.

The table at ‘Realising our future’ provides an indication of the forecast source of funding at the individual initiative level.