We respectfully acknowledge the Kaurna, Boandik and Barngarla First Nations Peoples and their Elders past and present, who are the First Nations’ traditional owners of the land of University of South Australia’s campuses in Adelaide, Mount Gambier and Whyalla.
Throughout this page, the term ‘Aboriginal’ refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, collectively.
UniSA is the University of Choice for Aboriginal People. Since its founding, UniSA has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Aboriginal engagement through its founding act and important initiatives such as the Aboriginal Taskforce, Australia’s first Aboriginal Tertiary Program, and Aboriginal Studies programs. UniSA was the first university in South Australia to have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a guiding document to advance reconciliation across the organisation. Professor Irene Watson, the University’s inaugural Pro Vice Chancellor: Aboriginal Leadership and Strategy and David Unaipon Chair has led the development of our second RAP, in which we commit to the objectives of the Universities Australia Indigenous Strategy, 2017-2020.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan
At its core, the Stretch RAP is student-centric. Supporting Aboriginal students to achieve success which is centred on providing a culturally safe and appropriate environment, one in which students can see tangible evidence of the University’s commitment to a two-way relationship with Aboriginal People. The breadth of deliverables, from advancing student outcomes, building cultural awareness amongst staff and students, and enhancing Aboriginal research and its impact, speak to the whole of university approach that is fundamental to providing a culturally safe space in which our students can succeed.
UniSA is committed to strengthening our position as the University of Choice for Aboriginal People by creating an environment where both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can learn, teach, research and engage with each other in a place that acknowledges, respects and learns from Aboriginal People and their unique knowledges. We understand that this requires an authentic two-way approach to engagement and relationships with Aboriginal People and organisations.
Wirringka Student Services offers Aboriginal students a friendly, comfortable and supportive place to study on each campus. There is an Aboriginal Student Engagement Officer on each campus who is available to answer questions and provide assistance with navigating your University experience, applying for scholarships, and pursuing your academic goals.
The Aboriginal Tutoring Program (ATP) offers Aboriginal students free access to qualified tutors with skills and experience in a wide range of study and research areas. Tuition includes areas including program content, time management, academic writing, essay planning and referencing skills.
Aboriginal Pathway Program (APP) is a one and a half year program that supports students with no previous qualifications for university study. The program is open to all people who identify as Aboriginal and can lead to entry into a university degree at the University of South Australia.
Our 2018 Indigenous Student Success Program Performance Report
Our 2017 Indigenous Student Success Program Performance Report
Our 2016 Indigenous Education Statement
Our 2015 Indigenous Education Statement
Our 2014 Indigenous Education Statement
Staff and Employment
UniSA has a long-standing aim that Aboriginal Peoples comprise at least 2% of its workforce and is committed to improving employment opportunities, supporting professional development, and creating a culturally safe and supportive workplace for Aboriginal staff members. Our workforce participation target is guided by an array of policies and a rolling employment strategy; Yaitya Warpulai Tappa (Aboriginal Work Path).
Aboriginal MBA Scholarships
The UniSA Business School is proud to offer the Aboriginal MBA (AMBA) Scholarship in partnership with industry. It is well known that a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a pathway to leadership and career progression. Our dedicated scholarships actively address leadership inequality and champion indigenous Australians with leadership potential, to advance their careers into senior management and executive roles.
Organisations that partner with us on this initiative show their commitment to achieve equality in leadership, support the growth of the talent pipeline and foster positive economic growth for the nation.
Since 2013, UniSA has partnered with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) to provide a mentoring program that supports Aboriginal high school students to develop the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence in their cultural safety to finish school. Every year, hundreds of Aboriginal high school students are mentored by UniSA volunteer mentors. Guided by the values of ‘Indigenous = Success’ and ‘No Shame at AIME’, AIME have demonstrated their ability to dramatically improve the number of Aboriginal students that finish school. In 2015, UniSA’s long-term commitment to the partnership with AIME was consolidated through the signing of a 10-year Mutual Statement of Commitment.
UniSA GO Scholarships recognise outstanding academic merit by high-achieving Aboriginal students seeking to study at the University in a range of programs. Adam Goodes’ and Mick O’Loughlin’s GO Foundation partners with organisations to create opportunities for Aboriginal youth through education. The UniSA GO scholarship ($6000 a year, up to four years) expands the work of GO Foundation with the support of the South Australian Government.
Indigenous Defence Consortium
UniSA and the Indigenous Defence Consortium are collaborating to create opportunities and pipelines for Aboriginal students to enter the Aboriginal business sector. Through this partnership, UniSA is supporting skills development in areas such as science and systems engineering, business administration, supply chain management, business marketing and growth and entrepreneurship.
UniSA is committed to promoting reconciliation to deepen the respect and relationships between Aboriginal People and other groups within the university. We understand that reconciliation encourages cultural change that will deliver better opportunities and outcomes for Aboriginal staff and students.
The first time a Vice Chancellor has been welcomed to South Australian lands by the traditional owners at a university graduation ceremony.
New leader of Aboriginal leadership and engagement
Aboriginal studies fellowships
A special collaboration with King’s College London will provide UniSA researchers with new opportunities to study at the Menzies Centre, in London.
One of Australia’s most prominent Aboriginal educators, UniSA Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney, has been awarded a prestigious fellowship.
Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney gave the inaugural David Unaipon Lecture at KCL London on Monday 18 September.
Our commitment to Indigenous education
Wirringka Student Services
Wirringka Student Services offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a friendly, comfortable and supportive place to study.
A workplace that values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and heritage
Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan
Our Stretch RAP sets out ambitious targets for Aboriginal participation in education and employment, and advances a culturally safe and inclusive University culture in which Aboriginal staff and students can thrive.
The Deadly Alumni is an initiative led by the Dean: Indigenous Scholarship, Engagement and Research, Professor Peter Buckskin.
Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College