Issue 20
Monday, 07 November 2016
Charles Darwin University
Masters graduate Theresa Alice at the Indigenous valedictory ceremony in Darwin
Masters graduate Theresa Alice at the Indigenous valedictory ceremony in Darwin

Indigenous students set record

By Patrick Nelson

Charles Darwin University has celebrated a record number of Indigenous graduates at a valedictory ceremony in Darwin.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said he was delighted to announce that 682 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students had completed courses in 2016, eclipsing last year’s record of 516.

“I am incredibly proud of this achievement, particularly as we seek to become globally recognised for our commitment to providing leadership in Indigenous tertiary education in Australia,” Professor Maddocks said.

“As an Institution, we have a new 10-year strategy with one of its core elements being an emphasis on Aboriginal peoples, their knowledges, their wisdoms and teachings. 

“There is much that First Peoples of this country offer in the way of unique knowledges, cultures, wisdoms and worldviews accumulated over countless thousands of years, while also remaining deeply committed to engaging with new knowledges, cultures, wisdoms and worldviews held by others.”

Among the guests at the valedictory was Therese Alice, from Amoonguna in Central Australia, who graduated with a Masters in Indigenous Knowledges by Research. 

All students at the valedictory were presented with an Indigenous leadership pin and those achieving a higher education qualification also received an Indigenous stole, recognising the importance of their success.

Both the pin and the stole are an initiative of the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Leadership. They formally recognise student achievement and the importance CDU places on continued success.

Earlier this year, CDU celebrated with Josie Douglas, who became the first Indigenous woman from the Red Centre to graduate with a PhD.

And in a milestone of a different nature, CDU will hold its first Indigenous valedictory ceremony in Katherine. The event is scheduled to take place on November 24.