QUTeX was pleased to partner with IPAA Queensland (Institute of Public Administration Australia) in the presentation of their recent Stewards on the Couch event on 2 June, 2020. Featuring Dr Chris Sarra (Director-General, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships) and Ms Angela Leitch (Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy), QUT), the event was webcast live from the QUTeX studio and hosted by 98.9FM radio host Lizzie Orley.
Held in National Reconciliation Week, the conversation allowed two prominent indigenous leaders to share their individual stories as well as offer insight into the challenges and opportunities for indigenous advancement in the current environment.
Both leaders acknowledged the support and encouragement of family, elders and their communities as they progressed through schooling and university in Queensland, before embarking on careers in public service, with Ms Leitch principally working in policy environments and Dr Sarra as an educator.
Dr Sarra reflected on his experience as Principal of Cherbourg State School, and the creation of his “strong and smart” philosophy of aspiration for the students. Ms Leitch emphasised the importance of working directly and closely with communities in crafting policy and program responses to needs.
Despite progress in education, health and employment outcomes for indigenous Australians, both leaders urged that much work is still to be done in shaping attitudes and opportunities in the future. The nature, meaning and practice of “Reconciliation” in Australia requires further development, with recognition of and engagement with the Uluru Statement from the Heart still in its earliest stages as a guiding national framework.
A recording of this session will be available shortly.
QUT is committed creating greater opportunity for indigenous Australians through a range of strategies and targets in employment, research, student achievement and community engagement. For more information, please refer to https://cms.qut.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/856729/indigenous-education-strategy.pdf