Wollotuka is committed to the advancement and leadership of Indigenous education at a local, national and global level.

The Wollotuka Institute

In the language of the Awabakal people "Wollotuka" means "eating and meeting place".

Standards coverThe Wollotuka Institute is guided by the teachings of our Nguraki (elders/cultural mentors) whose wisdoms are respected and honoured.  Our Nguraki and Community played a pivotal role in shaping and developing a locally defined set of Cultural Standards which reflect and embrace the cultural essence to which our goals are directed and to guide how we operate.

We acknowledge the traditional Aboriginal owners of the lands on which our offices are located:

The Pambalong Clan of the Awabakal Nation - Newcastle Campus at Callaghan
Darkinung People - Central Coast Campus at Ourimbah
Biripai People - Port Macquarie Campus

and also acknowledge and pay respect to the other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations from which our students, staff and community are drawn.               


A leader in Indigenous education

Wollotuka is committed to the advancement and leadership of Indigenous education at a local, national and global level. It also continues to draw strength from culture, communities and past journeys.

Since 1983, Wollotuka has played an important role in representing and supporting Indigenous Australians studying at university. Through its work, Wollotuka and the University of Newcastle more broadly are regarded as leaders in Indigenous education in Australia.

Read more about the history of Wollotuka.

Wollotuka consolidates all Indigenous activities of the University under one strategic and operational body. This whole-of university approach was highlighted as an example of best practice in the 2012 Behrendt Review. The institute also proudly adheres to the Indigenous Education Statement (PDF, 118.7KB).

 The four functions of The Wollotuka Institute incorporate:

Indigenous-led governance and management

Wollotuka is an all-Indigenous staffed unit overseen by an all-Indigenous Board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training. Its management and governance structures set it apart from all other higher education Indigenous units in Australia.

Board members include community representatives with skills and experience in Indigenous educational and community matters. Consultation with Indigenous communities is integral to the University's approach to supporting Indigenous education. 

The innovative "Three Director" management structure of Wollotuka, which is a traditionally-oriented method, is the only one of its kind in Australia. The dynamic decision-making process is achieving outstanding results and Wollotuka sets the benchmark for the other 38 Indigenous Centres within Australian universities.

Wollotuka Directors

Professor John LesterDirector, Academic and Research

Mrs Leanne HoltDirector, Indigenous Student Engagement, Employment and Collaboration

Dr Peter O'MaraDirector, Indigenous Health