Targets

The strategy establishes targets for the University in key areas of students, staff, and research. More specific project milestones in other areas of reform will be identified in the design of local implementation plans.

Students

Student targets are set for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and non-Aboriginal students. The University has already agreed minimum Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate targets as part of the ‘compact’ funding agreement with the Australian government. however the strategy sets a longer-term view of student numbers.

  • The University will increase the total number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people studying at Sydney by 100 percent over five years.
  • The University will lift non-Aboriginal student interest, engagement and knowledge of Torres Strait Islander issues by 50 percent over five years.

Staff

Expanding the pool of Aboriginal staff employed by the University is a critical task for our reform effort. but it will not be easy. The size of the available pool, the competition – not just from other higher education institutions but other sectors – and the relatively removed engagement of the higher education sector from Aboriginal advancement thinking influence decisions about what target to set.

The University will within four years:

  • employ an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academic staff complement of 75
  • employ in the general stream 97 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
  • ensure that new staff undertake an approved cross-cultural training program in line with the following targets:
    2012 – 20 percent
    2013 – 60 percent
    2014 – 80 percent
    2015 – 100 percent.
  • ensure that existing staff undertake an approved cross-cultural training program according to the following targets:
    2012 – 15 percent
    2013 – 40 percent
    2014 – 70 percent
    2015 – 100 percent.

Research and knowledge systems

Until relatively recently Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experience was that the research enterprise was exploitative and misdirected. The dominant experience was that “a poor relationship existed between indigenous peoples, researchers, universities, governments and policy makers”.1

On a playing field where increasingly stronger, productive partnerships between Aboriginal interests and the research enterprise are gaining position but as yet remain overshadowed by the history of divisive and intrusive practice, the University requires a deliberate strategy and clear targets. The University of Sydney will establish a productive and sustainable research and Aboriginal knowledge agenda in partnership with communities, government and industry.

The University will within four years:

  • establish at least two international partnerships in 2012 to explore the Aboriginal knowledge journey with indigenous peoples, relevant organisations and universities
  • secure research funding and commence research on the top 60 percent of research priorities identified through strategies in this theme
  • increase the number of staff and students engaged in research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues by at least 40 percent
  • lift funding from all sources for research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander areas by at least 25 percent.

1. Quartermain L, ATSIC cited in Indigenist Australia, Views on knowledge production and Indigenist research, Rigney L at law.anu.edu.au/ncis/_rigney_Goduka.pdf, accessed October 2011.