The University of Newcastle launches Maligagu blueprint for Indigenous employment

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Increasing the number of Indigenous people working at the University of Newcastle is just one of the goals of the Maligagu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy and Action Plan 2019 – 2021 officially launched by the institution today.

(L-R): Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Leadership Nathan Towney, Taylah Gray, Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky
(L-R): Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Leadership Nathan Towney, Taylah Gray, Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky

In the language of the Darkinung people, the traditional owners of the land on which the University’s Ourimbah campus is situated, Maligagu means ‘to shine’.

“We are proud of our long-standing and genuine commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliation at the University of Newcastle,” Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said.

“Our strategy and action plan shines a light on the importance of maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce that truly represents our students and our communities.”

There are four key priority areas in the Strategy and Action Plan:

  1. Attraction and Recruitment
  2. Environment and Retention
  3. Development and Advancement
  4. Governance and Leadership

“We have set recruitment targets to address the under-representation of Indigenous people employed in higher education because we know that being able to provide culturally appropriate support provides a better experience for our Indigenous staff and students,” Professor Zelinsky said.

A workforce target of 3.9% Indigenous has been set for 2020. This reflects employment ‘parity’ in the context of the Indigenous population of our University’s geographical footprint. The University is currently at 2.3%.

The University will take a number of approaches to achieve its target, including working to increase the number of Indigenous applicants for roles and by developing an Indigenous talent pool of candidates who have expressed an interest in working at the University.

The University of Newcastle nurtures a workplace that respects and values Indigenous people. The sector-leading Wollotuka Insititute was established in 1983 as a support program for Indigenous students. By the beginning of the 1990s, Wollotuka had commenced the design and delivery of courses aimed at enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation and equity at the University.

The University also runs an Indigenous cadet program, provides cultural inclusion training and maintains policies and procedures that support Indigenous staff to uphold community and cultural protocols and responsibilities.

“Our University has a strong history of leadership in providing opportunities for our Indigenous peoples to work and study, but we are not resting on that reputation, we will continue to raise the bar,” Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Leadership, Nathan Towney said.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.