The Wollotuka Institute
In the language of the Awabakal people "Wollotuka" means "eating and meeting place".
The Wollotuka Institute acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal owners of the lands on which our offices are located:
The Pambalong Clan of the Awabakal Nation - Newcastle Campus at Callaghan
Darkinjung People - Central Coast Campus at Ourimbah
Birpai People - Port Macquarie Campus
We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.
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.
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 Student Engagement and Experience
- Indigenous Staff Employment and Development
- Research and innovation
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.
Professor John Lester, Director, Academic and Research
Mrs Leanne Holt, Director, Indigenous Student Engagement, Employment and Collaboration
Dr Peter O'Mara, Director, Indigenous Health