The University of Newcastle is proud to have been identified with seed funding from the Commonwealth Government as one of six specialist national higher education centres of excellence responsible for the development of high quality Indigenous led post-graduate research and training.
Umulliko takes on the challenges of increasing Indigenous control of research practice and outcome through the development of high quality Indigenous student research education and practice. In doing this Umulliko facilitates a research approach that centers Indigenous World View and the process of decolonisation. This approach has been informed by research conducted by Associate Professor Nerida Blair entitled ‘Researched To Death’, an ARC funded project.
While the Centres’ key focus is in the areas of Health; Law and Social Issues; and Environment and Culture, it also employs a multi-discipline post-graduate program across all faculties of the University, in appropriate Indigenous research. This contributes to a more holistic and culturally appropriate approach to research and education.
A number of Research Higher Degree students are co-supervised across other discipline areas and a number of innovative research projects are being instigated with other Schools within the University. Of course community partnerships are critical in this process as well eg. "Listening: Indigenous Stories from the Central Coast" project.
The Centre will hold responsibility for the effective liaison, co-operation and collegiate engagement of other national and international Indigenous centres with similar missions. This will significantly enhance the collective dissemination of research outcomes and maximise co-operative scholarship. Umulliko has driven the establishment of an Australian Indigenous Research Network (AIRN) which draws on research participants from within Australia and internationally. We await the outcome of an ARC Research Application process for the AIRN to be injected with a life of its own.
Umulliko is proud that its management structure guarantees maximum Indigenous community control of its key directions and priorities. A Board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training has a majority of Indigenous members and is currently Chaired by Professor Eric Wilmott. Its community representatives have skills and background in Indigenous educational and community matters. This Board is supported by a more specialised Research Advisory Committee, Umulliko Research Advisory Committee (URAC) with most of its membership from Indigenous specialists and community. Professor Willmot also chairs the URAC.
Umulliko looks forward to invigorating the current research agenda and to evolving research that will make a tangible difference in our communities.