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Government engagement

CDU contributes its valuable expertise across training, education and research in the unique environment of the NT. As the only university headquartered in the NT and as a dual sector university, CDU is pleased to participate in meaningful consultation with Commonwealth, NT, and local governments.

CDU’s partnership with the Northern Territory Government is the catalyst for a collaborative approach to supporting the economic, social, and environmentally sustainable development of the NT.

Submissions to government


National Student Ombudsman

Charles Darwin University Submission on a National Student Ombudsman (Janary 2024)

Charles Darwin University welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the consultation on a National Student Ombudsman arising from the Draft Action Plan: Addressing gender-based violence in higher education. This submission addresses the potential of a new Ombudsman to strengthen access to complaint processes across the country and improve student agency. However, the case for an National Student Ombudsman is not strongly made for students in the NT (both vocational and higher education) who can currently access the Ombudsman NT. Should a National Student Ombudsman be established, CDU argues for further consultation on a model to address major areas of ambiguity. 


Senate Inquiry into the Middle Arm Industrial Precinct

Middle Arm Industrial Precinct Submission (October 2023)

Charles Darwin University acknowledges the need to drive economic growth in the NT and for this reason supports the Middle Arm Industrial Precinct. CDU’s support is not unqualified and our submission addresses the importance of regional environmental monitoring and community engagement. It should also be noted that CDU promotes academic integrity and the freedom of academic inquiry and expression. Academia from across the University may have independently provided their expertise to the Inquiry.

Draft National Science and Research Priorities

Submission to the Australian Government’s consultation on draft National Science and Research Priorities (September 2023) 

The draft National Science and Research Priorities provide an opportunity in Northern Australia to strengthen scientific cohesion and investment, including by drawing on First Nations knowledge systems and leading the nation in decarbonisation and building national resilience. This submission recommends a number of ways the draft Priorities could be strengthened and how Northern Australia can be central to scientific discovery and research, especially working with First Nations people.

Universities Accord – Interim Report

Submission to the Australian Universities Accord Interim report (September 2023)

This targeted Submission responds to the Universities Accord Interim Report and provided an opportunity for CDU to provide new recommendations to support the Accord’ Vision and the three big ideas CDU contributed in April 2023. This submission focuses on how the Accord can enable CDU to deliver on its vision to be Australia’s most connected university, which is pivotal for delivering for Northern Australia’s security and future prosperity.

Artificial Intelligence in the Australian Education System

Submission to the Inquiry into the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the Australian education system (July 2023)

This submission addresses the strengths, future impacts and risks presented by generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education in response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training’s Inquiry. CDU argues that the core business of universities in ‘transferring’ knowledge and engaging students in critical thinking remains as important as ever. The benefits of AI will not be realised without concerted effort on the part of universities.

Northern Territory Mineral Development Taskforce

Northern Territory Mineral Development Taskforce (July 2023)

CDU’s Northern Institute and Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods have unparalleled experience and deep engagement across the NT. In line with the invitation to provide feedback on the Mineral Development Taskforce Final Report, this submission focuses on key recommendations where CDU looks forward to continuing to work with the NT Government and industry to deliver the training, education and research needed to underpin the NT’s future economy.

Northern Territory Senior Secondary Review

Northern Territory Senior Secondary Review (June 2023)

Charles Darwin University supports the NT Government’s efforts to review and implement opportunities for improvement in secondary education. This submission focuses on CDU’s expertise in the NT’s unique learning environment; CDU’s involvement in the secondary years through Vocational Education and Training (VET) in schools; and as a critical enabler of school workforces, especially teachers. This submission responds to the NT Government’s Review of Secondary Education in the Northern Territory Discussion Paper (May 2023).

Inquiry into Food Security in Australia

Inquiry into food security in Australia (April 2023)

This submission is provided in the context of the Commonwealth House Standing Committee on Agriculture’s Inquiry into food security. It leverages CDU’s expertise of Northern’s Australia’s social, economic, environmental and climatic contexts which is essential to realising the sustainable development of agricultural industries across Northern Australia. The submission urges the Committee to give urgent attention to improving local capacity in Northern Australia to help prepare for future shocks to food production systems and improve access to food in remote Australia, especially for First Nations people. The Northern Australia Food Technology Innovation Project is a key example drawn on in the Submission.      

Initial Teacher Education: Teacher Education Expert Panel

Submission to Initial Teacher Education: Teacher Education Expert Panel (April 2023)

Charles Darwin University (CDU) welcomes the continuing opportunity to contribute to Quality Initial Teacher Education reform by providing this targeted submission in response to the Teacher Education Expert Panel’s Discussion Paper released on 23 March 2023. This submission seeks to ensure the Panel is familiar with the workforce challenges and school education context of the NT, especially as it relates to future performance measurement of Initial Teacher Education.

Universities Accord

Submission to the Australian Universities Accord Discussion Paper (April 2023)

This submission proposes a new approach to funding for CDU through the Universities Accord so that future generations of Territorians continue to have access to world-class training and higher education. CDU is positioned to make a significant contribution to some of the nation’s biggest challenges: shoring-up energy and water security in the face of climate change; acknowledging our geopolitical environment to protect our national interests; and developing sustainable economic growth in Northern Australia, particularly for First Nations peoples. Case studies throughout this submission demonstrate that innovative research for Northern Australia is much more impactful when underpinned by First Nations knowledges appropriately interweaved ‘with’ Western knowledges.


Review of Australia’s Migration System

Submission to the Review of Australia’s Migration System (December 2022)
CDU’s submission to the Review of Australia’s Migration System draws on CDU’s Northern Australia research expertise to recommend options to underwrite population and economic growth and address workforce shortages in the NT. Acknowledging the valuable economic and social contribution of international students, the submission also addresses ways the migration system could better support international students and provide enhanced opportunities to transition from student visas to permanent migration streams.

Independent Review of the Australian Research Council Act 2001

Submission to the Independent Review of the Australian Research Council Act 2001 (December 2022)
To preserve the Australian Research Council’s fundamental role in building Australia’s research capabilities and developing career researchers, this submission takes account of practical experience with ARC grants and makes a number of recommendations for the Review Panel’s consideration. 

Inquiry into Australia’s tourism and international education sectors

Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into Australia’s tourism and international education sectors (December 2022)
In line with the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, CDU outlines its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruption to international education and training. CDU argues that the NT is well placed to attract and retain international students and identifies opportunities to improve permanent migration pathways for international student graduates. 

Commonwealth Treasury Employment White Paper

Submission to the Commonwealth Treasury Employment White Paper (November 2022)
Focusing on areas of strength and great importance to the NT and its people, the submission canvasses demographic considerations, including the case for international migration; how education and training are fundamental enablers of employment; the importance of unlocking potential in remote Australia, especially for First Nations people; and the opportunity for place-based approaches as a key solution for employment and training. 

Commonwealth Defence Strategic Review

Submission to the Commonwealth Defence Strategic Review (November 2022)
With around six per cent of Defence personnel based in the NT, this submission outlines CDU’s contribution to building Defence capability through developing human capital and defence-relevant Research and Development (R&D). 

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Contact us

Government engagement is facilitated through the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. If you would like to learn more about CDU’s government engagement, please contact:

Bree Willsmore
Director of Government Relations
Office of the Vice-Chancellor
T: 08 8946 6646 

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