The Wollotuka Institute proudly celebrates recent achievements

Guthi Wangga - Celebrating our Achievements

January - October 2016

Testament to the outstanding performance of Wollotuka Staff

Wollotuka can boast quite a few statistics in regards to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, particularly being the first Australian University to reach over 1000 enrolments, which is testament to the outstanding and tireless work performed by staff within Wollotuka:-

“The University is the preferred study destination for Indigenous students in NSW and ACT topping the state in Indigenous student preferences from UAC. In 2016, the University received 303 first preferences from Indigenous students, 62% more than the next ranked University at 187. At 1,314 total preferences the University received 38% more preferences from Indigenous students than the next ranked institution at 950 (Source: Universities Admission Centre)”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments continue to rise compared to total domestic enrolments (Source: University MIS, 26 October 2016)

  2014 2015 2016 YTD
Domestic program enrolments 32767 31016 30193
Indigenous enrolments 977 994 1042
Indigenous enrolments % 3.0% 3.2% 3.5%

Indigenous Alumni Award finalist

Maynard and WenitongCongratulations to Professor John Maynard on receiving the prestigious UoN Indigenous Alumni Award at Alumni's gala function on Friday 21 October 2016.  On receiving his award Professor Maynard also honoured fellow brother and nominee Dr Mark Wenitong on his outstanding efforts over the years and the work they had carried out together for our people.

National Indigenous Tertiary Education Student Games (NITESG) – 26 June - 2 July 2016

Wollotuka sponsored 26 students and 5 staff to attend this year's games hosted by Australian Catholic University in Brisbane.  Wollotuka's performance was outstanding with the following results:

  • Overall 2nd
  • Joe Wright – Best Male Volleyball
  • Marty Roberts – Best Male Touch Football
  • Elizabeth Skillen – Best Female Touch Football

National Award salutes Teaching Excellence

Congratulations to Wollotuka Lecturer, Gail Tillman, on receiving an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, recognising quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning. more information

Reconciliation Scholarship Fundraiser

Our annual fundraiser event was held on 28 May 2016 where a crowd of 200 people enjoyed the cocktail style function to raise funds towards UoN's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship Fund. University staff, students and community enjoyed an evening of great food, wine and dancing as well as being entertained by our auction event.  The night raised $10,000 towards the scholarship fund.

The recipient of this year's scholarship, Kishaya Delaney, a second year Bachelor Law(Honours)/Bachelor Communications student and proud Wiradjuri woman from Orange, now living in Newcastle, delivered an outstanding acceptance speech on the night which received wonderful accolades from the audience.


Wollotuka’s annual graduation function was held on Friday 1 April 2016 where around 80 people were hosted to a great cocktail evening celebrating the achievements of our graduates during a formal ceremony after which people relaxed and enjoyed some karaoke. Positive feedback was received regarding the event and big thanks to the Student Engagement Team for all the work they put into making it such a success.

A number of staff also attended the University graduation events throughout the week having the privilege to witness our students in their Treesa Heathformal graduation ceremonies.  Particular recognition for two of our Wollotuka RhD students who received awards for Research Higher Degree Excellence - Dr Raymond Kelly graduating with a PhD (Aboriginal Studies) and Nicole Chaffey graduating with a MPhil (Aboriginal Studies). Big congratulations to both of these graduates and all our other graduates.

Also congratulations to Treesa Heath, graduating with a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) / Bachelor of Arts with Honours Class I plus the Education and Arts Faculty Medal in the October 2016 ceremonies.

CareerTrackers Partnership

Wollotuka has entered into a 10-year partnership agreement with CareerTrackers (to be reviewed after 5 years).  We have been working with CareerTrackers since 2013 creating internship opportunities for Indigenous university students with this agreement formalising the already solid partnership we have with them to improve placement for Indigenous interns with Australia's leading corporate organisations.

Cheryl Newton,  Derek Kinchela, Nigel Craig and Tareka Whaleboat attending their 6 th Annual Gala Dinner in Sydney on Thursday 4 February along with 1,700 people made up of interns and families, corporate members, universities and careertrackers staff, where we were presented with a knowledge stick by one of our interns, Ray French as part of the formal ceremony. Ray along with 5 of our other interns were also presented with gold diaries during the evening celebrating academic excellence.

We also held an event at Wollotuka on 14 March to launch the partnership with one of our graduates, Peta-Lee Moran, a Senior Student Advisor with CareerTrackers, providing an inspirational speech to students and staff in attendance.

2016 ASSETS Summer School

Wollotuka hosted The Aboriginal Summer School for Excellence in Technology and Science (ASSETS) Summer Camp that is run through CSIRO from 8 – 16 January 2016. We had 38 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from around Australia staying at International House and completing cultural workshops in the Birabahn building.  This is a great achievement for Wollotuka and UoN as there are only 3 camps around Australia and Professor Peter Radoll was able to secure Newcastle as a location.


We hosted 40 students to a 3 day/2 night cultural camp at Glenrock State Recreation Area Scout Camp.  The students were introduced to University life through workshops and seminar sessions.  They enjoyed cultural tours and “getting to know” one another through informal games and other sessions.

Bangiyal* Ceremony

Implementation of our Cultural Standards is a key focus for Wollotuka and we continue to welcome guests and commencing students through our Bangiyal ceremony which recognises our custodianship responsibilities, providing an offering, a message or a commitment to our countries, spaces and communities, across all campuses, informed by traditional values and practice.

To follow on from this ceremony we have introduced a Flag Raising Ceremony held on the first Monday of each month giving us space to reflect on the past, the lessons learnt, and remembering our Nguraki passed and present who have cleared our path for us to continue to travel.

* in the Gathang language meaning "new"