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26 May 2016

student servicesFurther enhancing UniSA’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd has announced that the Indigenous Student Services team will be known as Wirringka Student Services and a broader range of services and connections is being offered to promote a culture of leadership and community responsibility.

A celebration to launch this important student initiative will be one of the many events held across UniSA campuses during National Reconciliation Week from May 27 to June 3.

“Reconciliation is at the heart of Australia’s future and Wirringka is a perfect Kaurna name for the team and the services they provide because it means ‘together and in common with’,” Prof Lloyd says.

“Our Indigenous Student Services Manager, Eugene Warrior, undertook a consultation process across the University and sought approval to use this Kaurna name through the Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi and its sister organisation Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi.

“This name change is a mark of respect which honours the rich cultural history and traditions of the Kaurna people as well as an acknowledgment that four of University of South Australia’s six campuses are on Kaurna land.

“It also signifies a strong new direction for Indigenous Student Services within the supportive environment of UniSA’s Student Engagement Unit.

“We now have a full complement of team members, including a number of new Aboriginal Student Engagement and Community Engagement staff who are all working hard to provide opportunities for staff, students and members of the community to come together and achieve exceptional outcomes that will benefit all Australians.”

Indigenous Student Services Manager, Eugene Warrior, says the Wirringka Student Services name change is just one of a number of initiatives to further support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at UniSA and provide them with a sense of belonging.

“The ISS team became part of the Student Engagement Unit late last year and since then we have been working hard: recruiting new staff members, familiarising new students into the university environment and providing supportive arrangements through our Study Centres and the Aboriginal Tutorial Program,” Warrior says.

“The University of South Australia has long been engaged in the education and employment of Indigenous Australians and this commitment is enshrined in the University’s Act of Establishment and is symbolised by the Statement of Reconciliation and by the Reconciliation Stones located on each campus.

“To create positive change we need more people talking about Indigenous issues and coming up with innovative ideas and actions that can make a difference.  Wirringka Student Services will provide the perfect environment for this to flourish,” Warrior says.

This year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week is “Our History, Our Story, Our Future” and there is a huge range of events being held across UniSA campuses and South Australia including the Wirringka Student Services Launch on June 1 at 2.30pm in the Jeffrey Smart Forum at City West.

Special guests will include UniSA Pro Vice Chancellor Student Engagement and Equity, Dr Laura-Anne Bull, Uncle Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien and Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi Chairperson, Rodney O’Brien.

Media contact: Katrina McLachlan office +61 883020961 mob 0414972537 email katrina.mclachlan@unisa.edu.au

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