Indigenous PhD students with Adrian Miller at the City Campus.
Indigenous PhD students with Adrian Miller at the City Campus.

CQUni to launch First Nations research degree academy

CQUNIVERSITY today launched a First Nations Research Higher Degree Academy, becoming the first Australian university to do so.

The Academy was built in response to research which showed that First Nations people were under-represented in postgraduate research training programs in Australian universities.

CQUniversity Indigenous Engagement Vice President Professor Adrian Miller said it was a privilege to provide more opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

“The enrolment rates of Indigenous RHD candidates in this country are well under the population parity rate; in fact, Indigenous RHD student enrolments would need to almost triple to achieve population parity,” Mr Miller said.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp said he was proud to endorse the Academy.

“This academy will assist CQU in increasing Indigenous participation in research and, more importantly, assist candidates in achieving strong levels of cultural, pastoral, and academic support that is critical for the success of Indigenous research candidates.”

CQUniversity currently has 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander RHD students – just two per cent of the university’s total number of candidates.

School of Graduate Research Dean Professor Susan Kinnear said the establishment of the First Nations RHD Academy would help increase those enrolments.

She said researchers at CQUniversity would be trained to work better with Indigenous people.

“There will be a strong focus on engaging with Indigenous-identified academic staff from within CQUniversity and elsewhere as supervisors, including an Elders program that will be established.”

The new academy will be overseen by Academic Lead and Mentor Professor Jenni Judd.



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