Throughout this page, the term “Aboriginal’ refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, collectively.
UniSA is the University of Choice for Aboriginal Peoples. Since its founding, UniSA has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Aboriginal engagement through its founding act and important initiatives such as the Aboriginal Taskforce, Australia’s first Aboriginal Tertiary Program, and Aboriginal Studies programs. UniSA was the first university in South Australia to have a Reconciliation Action Plan, a guiding document to advance reconciliation across the organisation. Professor Irene Watson, the University’s inaugural Pro Vice Chancellor: Aboriginal Leadership and Strategy and David Unaipon Chair is leading the development of our second Reconciliation Action Plan, in which we will commit to the objectives of the new Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy, 2017-2020 and set clear targets for Aboriginal engagement including student recruitment and completion rates, employment numbers, and ensuring that Aboriginal cultural content is an integral part of the curriculum.
We are committed to strengthening our position as the University of Choice for Aboriginal Peoples by creating an environment where Aboriginal students and staff can learn, grow and define the future in a place that acknowledges, respects and learns from Aboriginal wisdoms, and celebrates the pursuit of knowledge in all its guises. UniSA understands that this requires true partnerships with Aboriginal communities and organisations.
Wirringka Student Services offers Aboriginal students a friendly, comfortable and supportive place to study on each campus. There is an Aboriginal Student Engagement Officer on each campus who is available to answer questions and provide assistance with navigating your University experience, applying for scholarships, and pursuing your academic goals.
The Aboriginal Tutoring Program (ATP) offers Aboriginal students free access to qualified tutors with skills and experience in a wide range of study and research areas. Tuition includes areas including program content, time management, academic writing, essay planning and referencing skills.
Aboriginal Pathway Program (APP) is a one and a half year program that supports students with no previous qualifications for university study. The program is open to all people who identify as Aboriginal and can lead to entry into a university degree at the University of South Australia.
Our 2016 Indigenous Education Statement
Our 2015 Indigenous Education Statement
Our 2014 Indigenous Education Statement
Staff and Employment
UniSA has a long-standing aim that Aboriginal Peoples comprise at least 2% of its workforce and is committed to improving employment opportunities, supporting professional development, and creating a culturally safe and supportive workplace for Aboriginal staff members. Our workforce participation target is guided by an array of policies and a rolling employment strategy; Yaitya Warpulai Tappa (Indigenous Work Path).
Since 2013, UniSA has partnered with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) to provide a mentoring program that supports Aboriginal high school students to develop the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence in their cultural safety to finish school. Every year, hundreds of Aboriginal high school students are mentored by UniSA volunteer mentors. Guided by the values of ‘Indigenous = Success’ and ‘No Shame at AIME’, AIME have demonstrated their ability to dramatically improve the number of Aboriginal students that finish school. In 2015, UniSA’s long-term commitment to the partnership with AIME was consolidated through the signing of a 10-year Mutual Statement of Commitment.
UniSA GO Scholarships recognise outstanding academic merit by high-achieving Aboriginal students seeking to study at the University in a range of programs. Adam Goodes’ and Mick O’Loughlin’s GO Foundation partners with organisations to create opportunities for Aboriginal youth through education. The UniSA GO scholarship ($6000 a year, up to four years) expands the work of GO Foundation with the support of the South Australian Government.
Indigenous Defence Consortium
UniSA and the Indigenous Defence Consortium are collaborating to create opportunities and pipelines for Aboriginal students to enter the Aboriginal business sector. Through this partnership, UniSA is supporting skills development in areas such as science and systems engineering, business administration, supply chain management, business marketing and growth and entrepreneurship.
UniSA is committed to promoting reconciliation to deepen the respect and relationships between Aboriginal People and other groups within the university. We understand that reconciliation encourages cultural change that will deliver better opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal staff and students.
The first time a Vice Chancellor has been welcomed to South Australian lands by the traditional owners at a university graduation ceremony.
New leader of Aboriginal leadership and engagement