SIXTH EDITION, NOVEMBER 2010
NATIONAL TERTIARY EDUCATION UNION − INDIGENOUS MEMBERS’ NEWSLETTER
New IPC elected
The new members of the Indigenous Policy Committee (IPC) met for the first time on 28 September in Melbourne. At this meeting, members of the IPC elected the Chair and Deputy Chair for the next term of office. Congratulations to new Chair Jillian Miller and Deputy Chair Terry Mason.
Inside this issue: New IPC elected
Welcome from Jillian Miller
Indigenous business at National Council 2 Indigenous bargaining update
Meet your new IPC reps
Memories of Wave Hill Walk Off
Nominations for three Indigenous National Councillors and eight Division Indigenous Councillors closed on the 16 June, with any contested elections conducted in August. The following elected Indigenous members now comprise the IPC for 2010– 2012. (NIC = National Indig- Above: John Graham and Jillian Miller with former IPC/ITEPC members Peter Pinenous Councillor, DIC = Divi- nington and Tracey Bunda at National Council. Left: Jillian Miller and Terry Mason sion Indigenous Councillor): Vacancies exist for Division Indigenous ●● Chair & DIC (SA)..........Jillian Miller (UniSA) Councillors from Tasmanian and ACT. Can●● Deputy Chair & NIC.....Terry Mason (UWS) ●● NIC.................. Dr Bronwyn Frederick (QUT) didates for these vacancies will be sought ●● NIC................................ Frances Wyld (UniSA) in the coming months. ●● DIC (VIC)......... Celeste Liddle (Melbourne) The IPC was established to formulate In●● DIC (NSW).......Dr Maree Gruppetta (UWS) digenous policy for the NTEU and to advise ●● DIC (QLD).................John Graham (Griffith) the NTEU National Executive on Indigenous ●● DIC (NT)......Alma Mir (Batchelor Institute) issues in the higher education sector. ●● DIC (WA)................. Marilyn Strother (UWA)
Health linked to education and employment 5 Clinton Grybas Indigenous Scholarship 5 NTEU Membership form
Contact details National Indigenous Officer Adam Frogley.............firstname.lastname@example.org Postal..........................NTEU National Office PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC 3205 Ph..........................................03 9254 1910 Fax.........................................03 9254 1915 Web............... www.nteu.org.au/indigenous
See p.4 for profiles of your new IPC representatives
Welcome from new IPC Chair Welcome to the sixth edition of Yarn and my first as the new chair of the Indigenous Policy Committee (IPC). Firstly I would like to thank the outgoing Chair Terry Mason, who is now Deputy Chair, for his advice and counsel in my new role and for the support of Adam Frogley, the Indigenous Officer and members of the IPC. National Council has endorsed all the Indigenous motions meaning we have union support for: ●● Ensuring Indigenous Employment Officer positions in the higher education sector. ●● Indigenous Research and ERA. ●● Addressing issues at Batchelor Institute. ●● Tackling lateral violence. ●● Stopping the NT Intervention and welfare quarantining. The IPC has discussed the Indigenous Forum 2011 and are considering ways of further improving the structure to further benefit and strengthen the network of Indigenous unionist working in the university sector. NTEU represents one third of all Indigenous staff in the higher education sector and I invite you all to recruit just one more each to enjoy the benefits of Indigenous unity! Yours in unity, Jillian Miller, IPC Chair
Authorised by Grahame McCulloch, General Secretary, National Tertiary Education Union, PO Box 1323, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Indigenous business at National Council NTEU National Council was held from 30 September–2 October, with members of the Indigenous Policy Committee (IPC) debating a number of important motions pertaining to Indigenous employment, education and social justice issues. A Welcome to Country, given by Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin (below), opened National Council 2010 and set the scene for the work of Council members over the coming days. The Indigenous report and motions were the first items of business for National Council, with the outgoing Chair of the IPC, Terry Mason providing an overview of the
work undertaken by the Committee and Indigenous Unit over the previous twelve months.
Indigenous motions Committee members all spoke passionately about the need for the Union to continue to advocate and support the important work of the IPC and Indigenous Unit. A range of motions were tabled for debate, including: ●● NT Intervention & Welfare Quarantining. ●● Batchelor Institute. ●● Indigenous Research and the ERA. ●● Indigenous Employment Officer positions in the higher education sector. ●● Lateral Violence. ●● IHEAC Draft Indigenous Workforce Strategy. ●● Compulsory Acquisition of Land. The outgoing Chair of the IPC, Terry Mason and the Victorian Division Councillor, Celeste Liddle gave National Councillors an insight into the deplorable situation faced by communities in the Northern Territory, who live under the welfare quarantining regime imposed by the previous Federal Government. Indigenous Policy Committee members opened debate on the need to support members, students and Indigenous communities in the campaign to save Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE). BIITE is currently negotiating a part-
Left: Aunty Joy Wandin performs the Welcome to Country for National Council. Above: At National Council 2010 (L–R) John Graham, Professor Steve Larkin, Terry Mason, Jillian Miller, Carolyn Allport (outgoing NTEU National President), Maree Gruppetta, Adam Frogley, Tracey Bunda, and Celeste Liddle. nership with Charles Darwin University to ensure its ongoing future. It is feared that Australia’s main dedicated remote tertiary education provider for Indigenous communities, will lose its status and ability to provide educational opportunities and pathways to employment for remote Indigenous communities. Issues pertaining to the sphere of Government were also debated, including Indigenous research and input to the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) model and the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Councils (IHEAC) draft workforce strategy. These two motions are vital to ensure a holistic approach to Indigenous research through the ERA and to see greater employment of Indigenous academic and general staff in the higher education sector. The concept of, and issues related to lateral violence were raised for debate. This issue has received a greater level of impetus and importance across many branches of the NTEU and is a term that describes a form of bullying that includes gossip, shaming and attempts to socially isolate others. This form of bullying is having a great effect upon many Indigenous staff in the higher education sector and the NTEU will conduct research into this issue to develop an effective policy on the National level. The WA Division and the IPC jointly tabled a motion on the compulsory acquisi-
YARN – NTEU INDIGENOUS MEMBERS’ NEWSLETTER
tion of land at James Price Point for the development of the Woodside Gas plan. All motions tabled by the IPC were passed unanimously by Council delegates, with many Branch and Division representatives seeking further information on how they can assist with campaigning on the issues debated. The IPC will continue to provide updates to members on the progress of the motions throughout the course of 2011.
Professor Steve Larkin Along with the NTEU Indigenous business and motions, National Council delegates were given an insightful and astute presentation from Australia’s only Pro-Vice Chancellor–Indigenous Leadership and the Chair of the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC), Professor Steve Larkin from Charles Darwin University. Professor Larkin gave a speech that provided an analysis of the current levels of Indigenous staffing in higher education, and reflected upon the exclusion of Indigenous perspectives in higher education due to epistemological racism. Professor Larkin also outlined IHEAC employment initiatives; with a particular focus on the National Indigenous Higher Education Workforce Strategy (NIHEWS). Adam Frogley, National Indigenous Officer
Indigenous bargaining claim update The current round of bargaining continues at universities across the country, with the NTEU achieving good outcomes for Indigenous members. These achievements include securing a numerical/percentage target for Indigenous employment, a senior Indigenous appointment, instituting/advancing Indigenous employment committees, cultural and ceremonial leave and university-wide Indigenous employment strategies. The table below provides an overview of what has been achieved. These bargaining outcomes are welcomed and provide effective measurable outcomes that give greater opportunities for current and future Indigenous staff members at these institutions; but the real work is only beginning. Institution
Indigenous Employment Target
Indigenous Employment Strategy
Representation on Indigenous Employment Committees
Commitment to appoint senior Indigenous Staff
Representation on Selection and Assessment Panels
Staff consultative committee to review progress of Indigenous employment Strategy annually
All rent paid to the University is to be provided to the Murdoch University Foundation to be used for the purposes of an Indigenous scholarship(s)
Commitment to employing Indigenous staff as overwhelming majority of staff in Oodgeroo Unit
Mandatory cultural competency training for employees with supervisory responsibilities.Extended carer’s leave for Indigenous Australians
University of New England
University of Southern Queensland
University of Western Sydney
University wide cultural awareness training program – Program of Indigenous Australian traineeships, scholarships and sponsorships relevant to career development
Wingara Management Committee to monitor staff turnover to ensure that the University maintains and improves Indigenous employment and meets its targets.Establishment of Indigenous Australian staff support network relating to employment and professional development at UTS
Cultural/ Ceremonial Leave provision
Language Allowance provision
The Union will continue to work to review the progress of the Indigenous employment strategies and targets for employment that have resulted from this current round. We congratulate the bargaining teams and look forward to working with other Branches currently in the process of finalising their Agreements.
University of Technology, Sydney
NOTES 1. Can be taken as part of 10 days per year paid Special Leave entitlement. 2. Representative nominated by the Union to be a member of the Curtin Indigenous Policy Committee. 3. Can be taken as part of 5 days per year paid Personal Leave entitlement. 4. Target increase of 25% of current 22 Indigenous Australian staff at Deakin employed in full-time, ongoing positions. 5. 5 days paid ceremonial leave per year. 6. 5 days paid Family, Cultural Obligations and Other Special Circumstances Leave. 7. Target increase of 1% of total Murdoch Staff (FTE) over the life of the agreement. 8. NTEU nominee on Indigenous Consultative Committee. 9. 3 days paid leave, plus 10 days unpaid leave. 10. $1,386/$2,774 per annum depending on level
11. NTEU representation on Indigenous Australian Employment and Career Development Reference Group 12. $2,092/$3,490 per annum depending on level 13. Targets to be in proportion to the distribution of Indigenous people in the local community 14. University will publish annual review of the strategy 15. NTEU nominee on advisory working group 16. Can be taken as part of 6 days per year Personal Leave entitlement 17. $1,386/$2,774 per annum depending on level 18. One day paid leave per year for NAIDOC observance. Extra 5 days per year may be taken as part of Special Leave with pay 19. Can be taken as part of 10 days Family and Personal Leave 20. $1,595/$3,192 per annum depending on level and adjusted with pay increases 21. At least 50% Indigenous membership on recruitment panels for new and existing position with the Oorala Aboriginal
Indigenous Access and Participation Committee to be established to set targets for the employment of Indigenous employees
Centre and for identified Indigenous positions across the University 22. 2 days paid cultural/ceremonial leave 23. Targets to be in proportion to the percentage of Indigenous Australians in the general population 24. University will publish an annual review of the strategy 25. Union representation on Indigenous Australian Employment Strategy Consultative Committee 26. 5 days paid leave, plus 10 days unpaid leave 27. $1,386/$2,774 per annum depending on level 28. Senior Staff position as Head of the Badanami Centre 29. Indigenous staff to comprise at least 2% of UTS staff 30. One day paid leave per year for NAIDOC observance 31. Commitment to an identified position which has responsibility for co-ordinating and monitoring Indigenous employment at UTS
YARN – NTEU INDIGENOUS MEMBERS’ NEWSLETTER
Meet your new IPC members Jillian Miller Chair & Division Indigenous Councillor (SA) Jillian Miller is a Mirning woman with family ties to the West Coast of South Australia. After 37 years employment with the SA Department of Education and Children’s Services, Jillian now works at the University of South Australia as Coordinator - Indigenous Student Services. In Jillian’s previous role as Superintendent Aboriginal Education, she had state wide responsibility for Aboriginal Education in SA from 2000–2005 and was the inaugural chair of the Senior Officers Nation Network Indigenous Education. Jillian has been a union member since her student teacher days and was on the AEU National ATSIEC for 8 years. She was the first Indigenous member of the AEU National Executive and worked on a new model of representation of Indigenous members within unions with the late Arthur Hamilton. Jillian proposed the resolution on the Rights of Indigenous peoples at the World Congress of Educational International (EI) in 1995 after working with Maori members of NZEI and chaired the first Indigenous Caucus of EI in Washington DC. Jillian led two recent national research projects for DEEWR initiated by the IHEAC: Good Practice Models of Leadership that Sustain Indigenous Participation, Retention and Success in Higher Education, and A Study of First Year Experiences of Indigenous Students in Australian Universities. She is a member of the SA Certificate of Education Board and the ACER Indigenous Standing Committee. Jillian still maintains her membership of the AEU as well being an active member of the NTEU and looks forward to her new role at the National level.
Maree Gruppetta Division Indigenous Councillor (NSW) Dr Maree Gruppetta is a Guyinbaraay woman currently working in the Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education at the University of Western Sydney (UWS). Prior to her current position as Senior Lecturer and AREP Education Course Advisor, Maree taught in the School of Education at UWS for eight years and prior to that was teaching in schools. Maree has taught in both Primary and Secondary classrooms, after completing a B.Tch (Primary), and a B. Ed (Hons), followed by a M.Teach in Special Education (Secondary). Maree has just been awarded a PhD; was nominated in the top 10 lecturers of the year at UWS in 2009, and was recently nominated for a Deadly Award.
Celeste Liddle Division Indigenous Councillor (Vic) Born on the picturesque plateau known as Canberra, Celeste, a proud Arrernte/Collingwood woman, and her family moved to the land of endless winter (aka Melbourne) when she was 14. Celeste was accepted into La Trobe University where she studied science for two years before seeing the Light and becoming a drama major. She completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Theatre and Drama) in 2002 Celeste started work at the Wilin Centre, Faculty of the VCA, University of Melbourne, the week after she handed in her honours thesis and worked there for 6 years before moving up to the Centre for Indigenous Education as the Senior Recruitment and Engagement Officer. Celeste is also an out of practice actor, playwright and director. Her one-woman show “Not One Nation” played at La Mama in 2003. In the future, Celeste hopes to pursue her love of the theatrical arts by obtaining a PhD (sooner, rather than later!).
For profiles of all IPC members, see our website: www.nteu.org.au/indigenous/ipc YARN – NTEU INDIGENOUS MEMBERS’ NEWSLETTER
Special online article
Reflections on the Wave Hill Walk-Off 40 years on, an activist’s view In August 1966, Aboriginal pastoral workers staged a walked off from Lord Vesteys’ cattle station at Wave Hill in the Northern Territory. Initially, the Aboriginal stockmen expressed their unhappiness with their terrible working conditions and impertinent treatment. Momentum continued to build, fed by the injustice faced by the Aboriginal workers, leading to the now famous walk off – known to the Gurindji as ‘Freedom Day’. The following year, with the assistance of Dexter Daniels, the North Australian Workers’ Union Aboriginal organiser, the stockmen and their families moved from Vesteys’ cattle station to Wattie Creek and claimed their land back. The strike and land rights struggle went on for about nine years. In 1975, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam poured a handful of soil into Vincent Lingiari’s hands, formally returning some of their land and ensuring the preservation of the Gurindji’s culture. Yarn presents an online article by Dr Brenda Croft from the David Unaipon Centre at UniSA, with the assistance of Frances Wyld, that provides a reflection on the Wave Hill Walk Off from an activist’s view point on what was achieved then and the path toward the future. Read the full article online at: www.nteu.org.au/indigenous/yarn/ wave_hill_40_years_on
Health linked to education and employment When compared with other women in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are considered the most socially and economically disadvantaged and have the poorest health status. As research on the social determinants of health shows, socio-economic disadvantage is strongly associated with poor health outcomes. The social determinants of health include education, employment, housing, income, racism and many other issues. The new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Health Strategy launched on 20 May at the National Women’s Health Conference specifically speaks to education and employment: two central issues for the NTEU. Bronwyn Fredericks, Karen Adams and Sandy Angus led the development of the Strategy. The work was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing to undertake consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and to provide input into the new National Women’s Health Policy (AWHP). Over 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women participated in consultations to identify their priorities and needs. The Action Areas and Recommendations presented in this Strategy were raised and discussed by the women who contributed through the consultation process.
Employment strategies and designated positions are discussed. So too, is the need for employers to work out whether they want an Indigenous worker just to ‘fit in’ within the work environment and who will organise a NAIDOC display once a year and canvas Indigenous people or whether they want to challenge the way their organisation functions and their core values or whether they want to do both. Some of this information could be utilised to make employment strategies within Australian universities more effective. The Strategy also explains that a number of women expressed concerns regarding superannuation, early retirement provisions and Centrelink entitlements along with how dependent status was recognised. It is stated that the rules need to be changed to reflect chronic disease patterns
and disability as experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the classifications of who and who is not a dependent. This also supports the work that the NTEU is doing in this area for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Strategy is available online at www.awhn.org.au
Read YARN as an online e-book or download a PDF at www.nteu.org.au/ yarn
Clinton Grybas Indigenous Scholarship In honour of one of Australia’s most gifted and promising young journalists, Clinton Grybas, the Red Dust Role Models foundation has established the Clinton Grybas Media Scholarship. Clinton had an exceptional talent that earned the respect and admiration of some of the industry’s greats. His professional approach to commentating and reporting on all sports was second to none and his passion for his media work was an inspiration to all. Clinton’s sudden death in 2008 was a shock to all of those associated with the media industry. This scholarship is but one way of ensuring Clinton’s legacy lives on is through this Indigenous media scholarship. Clinton’s Indigenous connection was through Red Dust where he had travelled to remote Indigenous communities to promote health and wellbeing. He was about to become a Red Dust role model when his sudden death meant an end to all his dreams. The Scholarship is a prestigious award aimed at providing assistance to Indigenous students studying or completing work placements in numerous media fields including journalism, radio broadcasting, television and production/presenting. Scholarship recipients will receive $5,000 and the opportunity to connect with media opportunities through the scholarship organisers, Red Dust. The scholarship also encourages the recipients to then use their developed skills and attributes within their community so as to profile unique and positive community stories and inspire the next generation of media students. For further information on Red Dust, visit www.reddust.org.au or email email@example.com
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