Aboriginal education future in spotlight

Aspecial livestream will be held at the University of South Australia Mount Gambier campus tonight to educate and inform the public about the future of Aboriginal education.

The event, ‘Elders speak: What is the future of Aboriginal Education?’ will be streamed live from the Allan Scott Auditorium at Adelaide’s UniSA City West campus.

It is presented by the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor: Aboriginal and Leadership Strategy, UniSA.

The panellists, which includes members of Purkarninthi, UniSA Elders in Residence, Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney AM and Professor Watson as Moderator, will discuss the need for a two-way education system that recognises and respects the cultures, languages and identities of Aboriginal children and youth.

Aboriginal Student Support and Community Engagement Officer Mark Lovett said the Adelaide event was fully booked with more than 200 people attending.

“Education starts at a very young age, so I think everyone should join in, sit and observe what’s being said,” he said.

Mr Lovett said Aboriginal education was improving and there were now more opportunities offered for Aboriginal people.

“Universities are certainly supporting the opportunity for Aboriginal people to further their studies, to gain degrees in all professions,” he said.

There are approximately 350 students at the UniSA Mount Gambier campus and Mr Lovett said 5% were Aboriginal.

“It’s up to all universities to support the opportunities for Aboriginal people,” he said.

UniSA offers an 18-month Aboriginal Pathway Program, which prepares students for their university degree, along with a variety of on-campus courses.

Students completing online courses are also welcome to use the campus facilities.

“The Vice-Chancellor wants UniSA to be the university of choice for Aboriginal people,” Mr Lovett said.

Pre-event drinks will begin at 5.30pm, followed by the forum from 6pm-7.30pm with tea and coffee afterwards.

Registrations are essential due to limited audience numbers.

To register interest or for further information, contact the UniSA campus on 1300 301 703.

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