Victoria University today launched Bathelmun Yalingwa ('Shine Bright' in the Woiwurrung languge) – a commitment to the opportunity and success of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, and to our role as a regional leader in raising awareness and addressing challenges.
The Victoria University Bathelmun Yalingwa Strategy 2017-2020 encompasses all aspects of University activity and consists of three key aspirations:
- Gamadji (Grow) – VU aims to grow the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participating in tertiary education as students, graduates, academics and professional staff, and assure their success by being an open and excellent university. It has set an enrolment target growth rate for Aboriginal students of at least 50% above its growth rate for non-Aboriginal student enrolments by 2020.
- Dambunmon (Share) – VU aims to increase the engagement of Aboriginal culture, knowledge, and educational approaches through its curriculum, staff training, and university activities, ensuring they are acknowledged and celebrated throughout the University and community.
- Jerrboongun (Connect) – VU aims to improve the university environment (including physical spaces) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by creating a welcoming, culturally aware, and rich environment that all students and staff will be inspired by and proud of.
The Strategy also involves VU working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities, particularly in Melbourne’s west, to address issues that may affect their social, health and economic wellbeing.
Vice-Chancellor Peter Dawkins said Bathelmun Yalingwa is part of the University’s commitment to join up cultures and countries, and support any students from any background in a ‘university without boundaries’. VU is already well recognised for having one of the most culturally diverse student and staff populations in Australia.
“We want to position VU as an institution that is renowned for deliberate action in raising the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, and for providing an environment that fosters Aboriginal innovation and success,” he said.
Bathelmum Yangwa builds on VU’s position as the University of Opportunity and Success, and its commitment to providing equal opportunity and outcomes while uplifting the communities it serves. It is underpinned by the Victoria University Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and aligns with Universities Australia’s Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020.
Moondani Balluk Director Karen Jackson is available for comment. Watch Karen's interview discussing Bathelmun Yanlingwa with journalist Alan Kohler.