USC acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and study. The University pays its respects to local Indigenous Elders past, present and emerging and recognises the strength, resilience and capacity of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are grateful for their ongoing contributions to the University.
The University’s vision of ‘Enriching our regions, connecting with our communities, and creating opportunities for all’ is enacted through six strategic goals.
This USC Reconciliation Charter articulates USC’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in alignment with these goals and ensures this commitment is not only embedded in our goals and plans but also, and more importantly, in our values and our community.
The charter is intended to capture a university-wide recognition and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture, knowledge and protocols. Only through genuine partnerships with Indigenous communities can this be achieved.
USC commits to ensuring clarity about its role and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as we continue the reconciliation journey together. USC commits to making impactful change through genuine collaboration.
As members of the USC community, we seek to enact our values:
- Advocate for equitable access to education and knowledge
- Recognise and embrace diversity and inclusion
- Champion environmentally sustainable principles and practices
- Commit to fair and ethical behaviour
- Respect our people, our communities, and their potential
- Be accountable to ourselves and each other
- Strive for excellence and innovation in all that we do
The priority commitments contained within this Charter will support effective and meaningful partnerships between USC and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations, groups and communities with an especially strong focus on the regions from Moreton Bay to the Fraser Coast.
USC's commitments are predicated on mutual development, activities, and growth:
Be a catalyst for development of mutually valuable partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities in the regions from Moreton Bay to the Fraser Coast.
Enable more people to work, contribute, and innovate in their local and global communities through facilitating and embedding a strong culture of inclusiveness
Build genuine and close partnerships with Indigenous and transcultural communities through joint research and community capacity exchange.
Ensure effective and meaningful partnerships between USC and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations, groups and communities through the implementation of USC’s Indigenous Engagement Framework.
Ensure our physical and virtual spaces are welcoming, are culturally safe and support Indigenous students and staff to flourish.
|PEOPLE AND CULTURE||Strengthen the cultural capabilities and competencies of USC Staff and Students.|
WHAT USC SEEKS TO ACHIEVE THROUGH THESE COMMITMENTS
Reconciliation requires much more than just words. It is about what we do and who we are as a community. We seek to create systemic and structural changes that make a difference through culturally inclusive learning, teaching, work practices and research opportunities.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
USC is committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are at the core of everything we do. As individuals we understand our own responsibilities in creating a culture of inclusion, as we build the collective capacity of our university and our regions
HOW WILL WE KNOW WE HAVE MET OUR COMMITMENTS?
The commitments of the Charter are embedded in the University Strategic Plan, Top Level Plans, Support Plans and Operational Plans. Each organisational unit at USC is responsible for identifying and including relevant actions that progress these commitments.
The Vice-Chancellor and President’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee will evaluate USC’s progress using key performance indicators for the Strategic Plan, Support Plans and Operational Plans along with relevant Commonwealth data. It will provide an annual update to the Vice-Chancellor and President and to USC’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.
Over time these commitments may change as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the wider Australian community engage in sharing deeper conversations, listening and talking with each other, and working together to overcome the inequality and inequity within our society.
BEYOND A RECONCILIATION ACTION PLAN
USC previously expressed its commitments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and community members through three successive Reconciliation Action Plans, including an Innovate RAP (2017-19). Each of these Plans contributed to USC’s evolution.
In late 2019, conversations began at USC to answer the question ‘What next?’. The conversations acknowledged broader debates and developments, locally and globally, including, in Australia, the Redfern Statement (2016), the Uluru Statement from the Heart (2017), and recent critiques relating to Closing the Gap. USC also seeks to align its practices with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
A Reconciliation Charter is a natural next step from previous Reconciliation Action Plans. It provides the flexibility to support new and innovative approaches to strengthening meaningful partnerships. It reflects the University’s commitment to its regions and increasing opportunities for genuine partnership.
USC’s campuses and sites are located on the lands of the Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi people, the Butchulla/Batjala/Badtjala people and the Yugarabul, Yuggera/Jagera and Turrbal people.