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WHITLEY COLLEGE Reconciliation Action Plan 2011 - 2012

Whitley College Equipping leaders for a different world


Whitley College Equipping leaders for a different world

Our Vision Our vision for reconciliation focuses on the provision of a supportive learning environment, improving the educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, building cultural respect, and promoting the achievements of Indigenous Australians at the local and national level. This Reconciliation Action Plan will become a crucial part in Whitley’s contribution to bridging the existing gaps in educational outcomes. Our vision is shaped by our location and by our sense of history. Whitley College is situated on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people. We acknowledge that the Wurundjeri people have enjoyed close spiritual connections with their country, maintaining their traditional societies and sustainable economic practices in this part of Australia for more than a thousand generations before the assertion of British sovereignty. As in every other part of Australia, this balanced order was ruptured by colonization, which brought many injustices and grave threats to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their cultures, rights and well-being. Yet the Wurundjeri people, and the surrounding peoples of the Kulin nations, proudly survive. We feel it is important to acknowledge this legacy as we resolve to participate in righting the wrongs of the past.

Whitley College Reconciliation Action Plan 2011 - 2012 Published July 2011 Whitley College 271 Royal Parade Parkville VIC 3052 T: +61 3 9340 8018 w w w.w h i t l e y. u n i m e l b . e d u . a u / r e c o n c i l i a t i o n


Our Business Whitley College, the Baptist College of Victoria, has two related but distinct educational purposes – theological and residential. The Theological School is a campus of the Melbourne College of Divinity, and the Residential College is affiliated with the University of Melbourne. In developing this Reconciliation Action Plan, we seek to build on our past experience of engaging with Aboriginal theological students, and offering programs that link faith and justice. As part of our Baptist identity and history, we will also seek to build up our relationships with the Baptist churches of the Warlpiri people of Central Australia. The Residential College provides accommodation, academic enrichment and pastoral care for some 130 students who study the broad range of academic disciplines available at the University of Melbourne and surrounding universities. Our policy and practice in recent years has been to provide places for, and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as part of our diverse educational community which fosters the values of tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for cultural diversity.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan Journey The Whitley Reconciliation Action Plan planning process commenced in 2009 and was a led by a committee that included senior staff, an Aboriginal student from the Residential College, and a member of the College’s governing body. The process included student workshops, and a number of consultations with staff and faculty, and two visits from a member of Reconciliation Australia. While the initial focus of attention was on the provision and support of undergraduate education, it became clear that working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples extended to all areas of our communal life and also to building relationships with local Aboriginal organizations and programs outside the College. Research activities within the Theological School were also given attention, and new objectives set in that area as well. The Reconciliation Action Plan proposals have been considered by management and the governing body and have now been fully endorsed at both levels. It has been resolved that the membership of the ongoing Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group will include the Dean of the Theological School, the Warden of the Residential College, and any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student of the College who is willing to participate in the Working Group. It has been acknowledged that the process of building greater respect for Aboriginal and Torres Islander peoples within our University environment will require collaboration with the Reconciliation Action Plans of the University of Melbourne and its associated community of residential colleges.

Grant Paulson from Reconciliation Australia visits Whitley College during the Reconciliation Action Plan planning process. Pictured with (from left): Residential College student Elijah Louttit; Dean of Academic Studies Brenda Addie; Warden of Residential College, Margie Welsford.


Relationships Whitley College is committed to fostering respectful relationships within its Residential College and Theological School as fundamental expressions of healthy community life. In particular we will work to build relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations and individuals in our sphere of operation in order to secure a safe and supportive learning environment.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable Target

1. Annual invitation for Dean of Theological Aboriginal and Torres Strait School & Warden of Islander representatives to Residential College participate in developing and implementing the Reconciliation Action Plan

September 2010 ongoing

Inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students on the Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

2. Establish relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and supporting organizations

Dean of Theological School & Warden of Residential College

August 2011

Annual invitation to Wurundjeri Council to provide a Welcome to Country

Dean of Theological School & Warden of Residential College

Feb 2012

Annual visits to discuss placements for internship program with Indigenous Hospitality House in Carlton

Dean of Theological School & Warden of Residential College

December 2012 Biennial visits to, or from the Baptist communities in Warlpiri and Gurundji country

Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

August 2011

Regular consultations with Centre for Indigenous Education and Murrup Barak at the University of Melbourne

3. Invite and ensure inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the planning and execution of College events

Warden of Residential College

August 2011

Participation in significant College events by one or more Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander students

4. Raise awareness of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations, service providers and peak bodies

Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

August 2011

Publication of a database of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations for all theological and residential students and staff and upload to Whitley College website

5. Actively engage in activities hosted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations

Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

August 2011

Attendance by Whitley Staff at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations, their initiatives, programs, events and celebrations

LEFT The Creation Story by Linda ‘Napurrula’ Walker of Yuendumu, NT. This painting was commissioned in 2011 and has been hung in the College’s Grigg Lecture Theatre.


Respect Whitley College is committed to building respect, cultural awareness and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as fundamental tenets of reconciliation, particularly as an expression of our Christian values.

Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable Target

1. Establish protocols for acknowledgement and acknowledge traditional land owners at all significant College events

Dean of Theological School & Warden of Residential College

August 2011

Welcome or Acknowledgement of Country at annual commencement events

Dean of Theological School & Warden of Residential College

August 2011

Formal dinners, events and meetings to begin with an oral Acknowledgement of Country to the Wurundjeri people who are the Traditional Owners of the Land

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Welcome to Country at our Reconciliation Action Plan Launch event

Principal

December 2011

Publication of protocols for acknowledgment followed by their placement in all common rooms, distribution to all staff and upload to Whitley College website

Principal

December 2011

Provision of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cross cultural training to staff

Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

August 2011

Development of “Indigenous Australian Resources� page for College Website

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Provision of Cultural awareness program to students in Transition & Orientation Week

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Publication of seasonal calendar for Wurundjeri people

Principal

December 2011

Attendance by majority of Staff and Council members at a minimum of one cultural event each year

Warden of Residential College

March 2012 Advertisement of university-wide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activities and programs

Dean of Theological School & Warden of Residential College

July 2012

Acknowledgement of Reconciliation and NAIDOC weeks and other significant events by displaying the Aboriginal flag, engaging an annual visiting speaker or hosting a program

Dean of Theological School

May 2012

Annual Sorry Day event for Baptist ordination candidates

Warden of Residential College

May 2012

Annual Sorry Day event for residential students

4. Celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through the public display of artworks and maps in the College

Dean of Theological School & Warden of Residential College

December 2012

Installation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork on campus (with commentary), including purchases from Baptist communities in Warlpiri country, and/ or from Wurundjeri artists

5. Review and develop educational theological courses that are inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content, and propose strategies for further development

Dean of Theological School

April 2012

Provision of at least one recommendation for development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander course content in 2012 theological curriculum.

2. Provide opportunities for improved cultural competence of staff and students

3. Support and promote local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural events.


Opportunities Whitley College aims to create mutually beneficial opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Indigenous people to expand their knowledge, skills and experience and to provide non-Indigenous staff and students with training to expand their knowledge, skills and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and people. Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable Target

1.Support and foster academic development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Participation of between 5-8 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the Bachelor of Arts Extended Program and other University courses

2. Review support programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residential students, giving priority to retention

Warden of Residential College

August 2011

Development of mentoring programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Provision of scholarships to financially support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residential students

3. Develop theological curriculum that reflects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dimensions

Dean of Theological School

February 2012

Hosting of international conference on postcolonial theology with significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation

4. Increase staffing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Dean of Theological School

February 2012

Engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lecturer

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Priority given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants for administrative and residential staff positions

Warden of Residential College

December 2011

Evaluation of programs sought from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Provision of activities that raise awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture

Warden of Residential College

February 2012

Establishment of volunteering programs for all residential students with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations or social justice initiatives

Warden of Residential College

August 2011

Food sourced for College events from local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander catering services

5. Engage with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Elders, professionals and leaders in the development and implementation of Residential College programs 6. Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and agencies


Tracking Progress and Reporting Action

Responsibility

Timeline

Measurable Target

1. Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group to meet on a regular basis to ensure that our initiatives receive ongoing review, implementation and development

Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

March 2012 Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group to meet at least 4 times per year

2. Feedback on and input into our Reconciliation Action Plan is received from external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders

Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

March 2012 External Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations meet with Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group periodically Feedback is incorporated into the annual Reconciliation Action Plan refresh

3. Reconciliation Action Plan reported on and refreshed annually

Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

March 2012 Reconciliation Action Plan Report available on Whitley College and Reconciliation Australia websites Refreshed Reconciliation Action Plan available on Whitley College and Reconciliation Australia websites

4. Whole of organization ownership of our Reconciliation Action Plan

5. Progress, achievements and learnings in implementing the Reconciliation Action Plan are shared on a regular basis

Principal

Monthly

Reconciliation Action Plan discussed at monthly management meetings

Bi-annually

Reconciliation Action Plan discussed at Council meetings

Bi-annually

Reconciliation Action Plan discussed at Staff meetings

Annually

Reconciliation Action Plan report is provided to Council to respond with feedback

Annually

Website report uploaded

Annually

Reconciliation Action Plan report included in Whitley College newsletter

Please direct any enquiries about our Reconciliation Action Plan to: Rev Dr Frank Rees, Principal Whitley College, 271 Royal Parade Parkville Victoria 3052 T: +61 3 9340 8000 E: frees@whitley.unimelb.edu.au W: www.whitley.unimelb.edu.au/reconciliation

Whitley College Equipping leaders for a different world

Whitley College RAP 2011-2012  

Reconciliation Action Plan of Whitley College 2011-21012

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