Queensland has the second largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia with several thousand Indigenous people living in Toowoomba and the surrounding districts. The Indigenous community includes Traditional Owners and Indigenous people from throughout Queensland, the Torres Strait and Australia.
USQ strives to improve higher education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians. The USQ Reconciliation Action Plan: Walking Together commits USQ to a range of actions and goals in support of securing unity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
Our Centre for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research (CISER) is dedicated to encouraging and assisting our Indigenous students through their learning journey. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Education Strategy provides a framework which the University uses to improve the engagement, participation and success in higher education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Strategy (PDF 502KB) also demonstrates our commitment to producing significant research which focuses on working with regional communities to develop shared narratives – past, present and future.
To assist in promoting the Indigenous culture and encouraging the further education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we support a number of specialised Indigenous programs, education initiatives and cultural sites:
- Indigenous Student Engagement Programs (Deadly Ways)
- NAIDOC Art Exhibitions
- Gumbi Gumbi Gardens
USQ also acknowledges a number of significant dates in the Australian calendar relating to the history and contributions made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
USQ is committed to increasing the educational, employment, training and career development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Workforce Strategy 2018-2020, USQ aims to attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to both academic and professional positions across all facets of the University.
The participation, advice and experience of Indigenous Elders is highly important within all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In Toowoomba, the local community Elders are members of the Toowoomba Council of Elders Aboriginal Corporation who meet regularly to discuss and address issues relevant to the local Indigenous community.
The University’s Elders and Valued Persons Advisory Board (EVPAB) provides high-level strategic advice to the University to assist its endeavours in Reconciliation and the improvement of outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the activities of the University.