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First Nations Leadership

Our Vision

ACIKE building

First Nations Leadership plays a role in providing advice and advocacy services to both academic and professional staff around working with Australian First Nations students, communities, and organisations.

In 2009, CDU was the first university in Australia to appoint a Pro Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Leadership.  In 2021, this position was elevated to the  Deputy Vice-Chancellor First Nations Leadership.

In 2021, CDU  elevated Professor Bolt's position to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of First Nations Leadership & Engagement, overseeing the implementation of the CDU First Nations Leadership Core Plan and the Engagement and Partnerships Core Plan. He provides strategic advice on First Nations issues to the Senior Executive Team (SET) and plays a vital role in the executive management of CDU.


Indigenous Leadership Strategy

With an aspiration to be ‘Globally Recognised for Indigenous Leadership’, the FNLS commits Charles Darwin University (CDU) to develop innovative programs informed by local and national agendas that are designed to:

  • improve First Nations participation
  • create and maintain culturally enriched and culturally safe environments for First Nations students
  • learn in partnership with Indigenous students, staff, and community, and
  • increase CDU’s First Nations staffing profile.

Read Our Strategy


Key documents

CDU undertakes high-quality research and evaluation activities relevant to contemporary practice and policy issues that impact the livelihoods and wellbeing of Indigenous people. 

This work is guided by appropriate methodologies to incorporate Indigenous knowledges and viewpoints. Our philosophy is to use a strengths-based approach to research and evaluation in a wide array of Indigenous settings. 

We are particularly committed to generating an evidence base that can be practically and strategically applied to a range of program, service delivery and policy contexts.

Indigenous Student Success Program Reports
Research and Whole Community Engagement Initiative
Other documents

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 

Development of our RAP will involve consultation with all staff across the University, as well as external Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders and other interested parties. CDU also hope to engage the wider NT community and corporate community in support of our reconciliation aspirations. The RAP is based on developing relationships, respect and opportunities. 

Key elements of the process 

  • A working group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders will draft the RAP through extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Once ratified and registered with Reconciliation Australia, the RAP will be launched publicly.
  • The RAP will be implemented across the University and evaluated at least annually. 

Key areas of action 

  1. Indigenous leadership
  2. Cultural competency
  3. Symbolic and cultural recognition

Read Charles Darwin University's signed Statement of Commitment to Reconciliation (PDF 1MB)

Read Charles Darwin University's Reconciliation Action Plan (PDF 5MB).

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