The words of then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2008 National Apology to the Stolen Generations will resound across University of Southern Queensland (USQ) campuses today (February 13) to mark 11 years since the significant speech.
USQ will screen the formal apology from 12-2pm at various locations, reflecting on the injustices of the past and committing to a continuing journey towards Reconciliation.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said USQ strived to improve higher education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians.
“It is our honour to support a number of specialised Indigenous programs and cultural sites,” she said.
“Initiatives such as the Indigenous Student Engagement Programs (Deadly Ways), NAIDOC Art Exhibitions and Gumbi Gumbi Gardens help promote Indigenous cultures and encourage further education, whilst also greatly enriching the USQ community.
“The National Apology anniversary is an important date in our shared history, and a cornerstone for us to build a strong future together.”
In addition to boosting student outcomes, USQ is committed to increasing the employment and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at the University.
Part of that commitment is the annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traineeship Program that provides opportunities for trainees to work towards a nationally recognised accreditation.
USQ recently welcomed the four new trainees, Jodie Barkle, Kaniesha Woodbridge, Taine Gilbert and Tanisha Ridgeway.
“In addition to gaining qualifications, the trainees will gain personal and professional development opportunities to prepare them for the workforce,” Mrs Trudi Davidson, USQ Director (Workforce Strategy and Diversity), said.
The successful traineeship program is an initiative of USQ’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Workforce Strategy 2018-2020.