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National Tertiary Education Union − Indigenous members’ Newsletter

A Better Future: NTEU Indigenous Forum 2008

Inside this issue: A Better Future: NTEU Indigenous Forum 2008


Welcome from ITEPC Chair


Meet your new ITEPC members


Bargaining outcome - Indigenous employment at Ballarat


Indigenous motions at NTEU National Council


NTEU Join form


The theme for this year’s annual NTEU National Indigenous Forum is ‘A Better Future: Indigenous Employment, Education and Social Justice’. It is expected that around 50 Indigenous Delegates, ITEPC members, elected officers and staff will attend Forum and participate in the meeting and training workshops on 4–5 December. The Forum will give delegates an opportunity to provide input into the further development of Indigenous policy and strategies in relation to Indigenous employment, student income support, research, teaching and social justice issues. It will also give delegates a venue to discuss the submission to the Bradley Review by the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC).

Workshops A series of training workshops will be conducted at the Forum, covering a range of topics that are relevant to Indigenous members and industrial/organising staff in NTEU Branches and Divisions. These workshops will include: Sources of Employment Rights. An examination of how employment matters are regulated, the interaction between various instruments and how employment rights can be enforced.

Reclaiming and improving Indigenous provisions in Collective Agreements. An examination of how the HEWRRs impacted on our ability to advance Indigenous claims during the last round of bargaining and how we can reclaim what was lost. Developing a local campaign. Planning a campaign to support the Indigenous employment strategy, and developing campaign materials. For further information on Forum 2008 please contact Kelly Drayton on (03) 9254 1910 or email

Did you know? NTEU has members organised in universities, TAFE colleges, research institutes, adult education providers, student organisations, university and college companies and commercial arms, and independent post-secondary education providers. Contact your local NTEU Branch or the National Indigenous Officer to discuss NTEU membership and benefits.

Welcome to the 2nd edition of Yarn

Contact details National Indigenous Officer Adam Industrial & Indigenous Resource Officer Kelly Web............... NTEU National Office PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC 3205 Phone 03 9254 1910 Fax 03 9254 1915

National Elections are over for the next two years and we have a new ITEPC. Of the 11 positions, 7 are new people. It is refreshing to see an enthusiastic group of people getting involved in active work in the Union. National Council is over as well and all the Indigenous motions were passed (see report, p.3). Coming up in December is the World Indigenous Peoples Conference: Education (WIPC:E) 2008, to be held from the 7–11 December on the traditional lands of the Kulin Nation in Melbourne, and the Education International Indigenous Educators’ Seminar on 6 December at NTEU National Office. See Yarn online for more information about these events: Don’t forget preceding these events is our own NTEU Indigenous Forum, on 4–5 December. Talk to your Branch about support to attend if you are the Indigenous representative. Cheers, Terry.

YARN Bargaining outcome – Indigenous Employment at University of Ballarat The current round of Collective Bargaining has seen negotiations take place for a new collective agreement at the University of Ballarat (UB). Indigenous Employment was a high priority on the list of claims for this round, in the anticipation that Indigenous employment targets would be reinstated after the previous HEWRRs round of bargaining. From the outset of negotiations, the Vice-Chancellor and University Management were reluctant to place targets into the Agreement, stating that the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan was the priority policy document and employment targets would be set during the process of discussions with the local Indigenous community. In response to stalled negotiations, NTEU instigated a community petition on Indigenous employment at UB that saw 20 signatures from Elders and Senior Community members obtained in a very short time. UB has now implemented an Indigenous employment target of 7 staff by 31 December 2009 and has increased the total cultural leave entitlements for Indigenous staff to include 10 days unpaid leave on top of the 5 days paid leave carried over from the previous Agreement. This is a good outcome for Indigenous employment in the first Agreement of the new round of bargaining and may not have been possible without the support of the local Indigenous community.

Above: UB Vice-Chancellor Prof David Battersby, NTEU National President Dr Carolyn Allport and Chair of the Ballarat Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, Wayne Muir.


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Meet your new ITEPC members The new members of the Indigenous Tertiary Education Policy Committee (ITEPC) met for the first time on the 1 October in Melbourne. Elections for 3 Indigenous National Councillors and 8 Division Indigenous Councillors were conducted on the 16th of June, with contested elections finalised in August. A vacancy exists for the position of Victorian Division Indigenous Councillor and it is expected that the vacancy will be filled shortly. The ITEPC was established to formulate Indigenous policy for the NTEU and to advise the NTEU National Executive on Indigenous issues in the higher education sector. The following elected Indigenous members now comprise the ITEPC for 2008-2010:

Terry Mason (Chair)

Marilyn Strother

National Indigenous Councillor

National Indigenous Councillor

Terry Mason was born at Kahibah, land of the Awabakal language people. He currently works as a Senior Lecturer in the Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education at the University of Western Sydney and was previously the Academic Coordinator of the Bachelor of Education Degree delivered by mixed mode through the Aboriginal Rural Education Program. Terry is the Indigenous representative on the Board of the Welfare Rights Centre in NSW and has extensive experience in the issues of Indigenous employment and work including substantial input into the current employment strategy clauses.

Craig Somerville (Deputy Chair) Division Indigenous Councillor - WA Craig is a Martu man from the Western Desert in WA. He is a descendent of the girls who walked the rabbit proof fence. Craig has a Bachelor of Arts from UWA and has worked in the government, private and community sectors as CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA, General Manager of Indigenous Relations at Normandy Mining and a senior advisor to the WA Premier and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Craig has worked at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University since 2004. He has had a lifelong commitment to Union membership and was honoured to be elected Deputy Chairperson of the ITEPC this year.


Marilyn is a Nyoongar woman from WA who has lived in the Fremantle area all her life, but has family ties in the South West of the country. She has been employed by UWA’s School of Indigenous Studies for 14 years, and previously worked in Aboriginal Affairs and youth education. Marilyn has learnt a great deal about how the Union can be an advocate and a resource for Indigenous advancements, and also about how to best share both cultural and academic knowledge between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal union members to the best advantage of all. That knowledge now provides us with an opportunity to implement policies, by aligning the needs and aspirations of the community and Aboriginal Centres in our four public universities with the policies, enterprise bargaining commitments and strategies of the NTEU.

Aaron Dick

National Indigenous Councillor Aaron Dick is from WA and is currently living in Alice Springs. His Mother is Nyoongah and Father is Bardi, from north of Broome. Aaron is married with 5 children of his own and 3 step kids and a foster child to keep him busy. He worked for Curtin University for seven years and ran a Job Network organisation in WA. Aaron is currently completing a contract with the Institute for Aboriginal Development and works casually at a safe house for children needing care. Aaron has an honours degree and is studying for his Masters degree in Indigenous Research. He is a member of the Australian Institute for Company Directors and will be presenting a paper at WIPC:E.

YARN Alma Mir Division Indigenous Councillor - NT Alma is a Project Officer with Batchelor Institute, currently working on two ARC funded projects (Linkages with NT secondary school students and Discovery with post secondary students). She is also coordinator of Bachelor’s Institutional Repository. Recently Alma was re-elected as the Indigenous staff rep on Batchelor Institute’s Council, and is the NTEU Branch Secretary. She is an active bargaining negotiator, representing general staff in three bargaining rounds, and was one of the founding members of the Batchelor NTEU Branch in 2000. Alma has recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Management and Administration and is looking forward to graduating with a Graduate Certificate in Research (Indigenous Knowledges) in 2009.

Frances Wyld

Division Indigenous Councillor - SA Frances is a lecturer at UniSA and a descendant of the Mardu people of WA. Her research and teaching interests include education and communication, and she is currently working towards a Doctor of Communication focusing on Aboriginal Women in Academia. Frances is a proud member of NTEU and has a passion for social justice. Through her involvement in NTEU she wants to get more Indigenous people into the university sector and make sure that those who do enter receive a fair go and have a good work/life balance.


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In 1979, Peter undertook a research project through the Monash University Aboriginal Research Centre which was the basis for the setting up of an Aboriginal Community Workers Course at the then Community Welfare Institute, Watsonia. The course has expanded to include courses across NMIT. Peter’s expectations while on the ITEPC are that the relationship between education and health be realised, more, by governments at all levels and in doing so develop appropriate coordinated policies to do so. There are enough reports around, to, not go and reinvent the wheel. Integral to this development is meaningful discourse with Indigenous peoples.

Maree Graham Division Indigenous Councillor - NSW Maree is originally from Dubbo in central NSW and is a proud Wiradjuri woman. She moved to Sydney with her family at an early age, growing up in Kurrajong at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Maree has focussed her skills and knowledge in the area of higher education where she has worked in both the local and international markets. In 2007, Maree joined UWS bringing marketing and outreach expertise to its pursuit in providing increased educational opportunities for Indigenous peoples from all walks of life. Previously Maree worked at Macquarie University managing the development and sustainability of postgraduate coursework programs across the Information Technology, Computer Science and Engineering arenas. In 2009 she hopes to undertake a postgraduate Marketing qualification.

Deborah Brown Peter Pinnington Division Indigenous Councillor - ACT

Peter is the inaugural Lecturer in Indigenous Health, ANU Medical School, teaching across all four years of the graduate medicine degree. His employment career has centred on education and health.

Division Indigenous Councillor - Tasmania Deborah is Palawa from the Trawlwoolway. She is the Executive and Indigenous Higher Education Officer with Riawunna at University of Tasmania, and expects to complete an MBA in 2009. As the Indigenous Division Councillor she aims to be a strong voice for Indigenous staff at UTAS.

Indigenous motions at National Council 2008 This year NTEU National Council, held from 2–4 October, was welcomed to country by respected Boon Wurrung Elder and community mentor Aunty Carolyn Briggs. Approximately 150 delegates from across Australia met to discuss NTEU national policy directions for 2009. As is NTEU policy, the Indigenous report and motions were the first item of business on day one of Council. The Indigenous report provided an overview of work undertaken in the previous 12 months and included the implementation of the 2007 Indigenous motions. The 2008 Indigenous motions sought support from National Council on a range of important education, employment and social justice issues. The five Indigenous motions tabled at National Council were: ●● Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC). ●● WIPC:E 2008. ●● Indigenous Employment in Higher Education. ●● Bridging the Gap – Indigenous Education and Employment at Australian Universities. ●● Indigenous Superannuation and Retirement. The Indigenous motions were passed unanimously by delegates at National Council and will form the basis of work to be undertaken by the ITEPC and Indigenous Unit in 2009.

John Graham

Division Indigenous Councillor - Qld John Graham is a Kombumerri man from the Gold Coast region. He has worked as a Learning Assistance Officer at the GUMURRII centre, Griffith University for 8 years and has a Bachelor in Leisure Management. John is passionate about education and the opportunities it provides for our people to rise above their circumstances and to be successfully in their goals and ambitions. He strives to help others attain their dreams and gains satisfaction when they do achieve them. He also continues to help our mob outside the university environment through participation at various community engagements.



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Yarn Nov 2008  

Indigenous Members' Newsletter, National Tertiary Education Union (Australia). Issue no 2. Nov 2008. ISSN 1836-8557