A new partnership between two leading Australian research institutions will allow Australians to better understand, strengthen and share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, contexts and knowledge.
The collaboration will see the home of Australia’s premier collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island cultures, traditions, languages and stories collaborate with Australia’s oldest university.
The Memorandum of Understanding - between the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the University of Sydney - was officially signed by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and Professor Mick Dodson in Canberra today.
The partnership will initiate activities that support AIATSIS' and University of Sydney’s National Centre for Cultural Competence’s respective roles in increasing cultural competence in research and to promote the use of appropriate research methodologies when engaging with Indigenous communities.
AIATSIS Chairperson Professor Mick Dodson said today’s signing will formalise a partnership that will further the impact and reach of the two organisation’s existing work.
“AIATSIS and University of Sydney are committed to the ideal that building personal, professional and organisational cultural proficiency can lead to true reconciliation. The ability to identify our own cultural values and assumptions can lead us to genuine appreciation for others,” Professor Dodson said.
University of Sydney Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said the partnership will enable an exchange of materials, facilitate higher degree research and the exchange of faculty and research scholars.
“This agreement brings together the talent and creativity of two of the nation’s leading institutions in a partnership that will hugely enrich our learning and teaching, our research and the maintenance of cultural resources essential to our nation’s self-awareness and pride,” Dr Spence said.
The five-year agreement will be coordinated by the University’s National Centre for Cultural Competence.
“Cultural competence is the ability to participate ethically and effectively in personal and professional intercultural spaces,” said the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Professor Shane Houston.
“A closer relationship with the nation’s premier preserver and maintainer of vital Aboriginal materials will inform the work of our students and staff and enhance the University’s aim to become more culturally competent as an institution.”
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