Office of Indigenous Leadership and Regional Outreach

The Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Indigenous Leadership and Regional Outreach (OPVCILRO), is an Aboriginal lead Portfolio. We are uniquely dedicated to Indigenous capacity building, including in Indigenous research and in our community engagement.

OPVCILRO provides leadership to the University in achieving its goal of becoming globally recognised for Indigenous leadership in education (Strategic Plan 2015-2025).

CDU’s commitment to this goal includes:

  • Developing innovative programs, informed by local and national agendas to improve Indigenous participation.
  • Creating and maintaining culturally-enriched and culturally-safe environments for Indigenous students.
  • Learning in partnership with Indigenous students, staff and community.
  • Increasing our Indigenous staffing profile.

Participation in corporate governance across the University and a commitment to facilitating a whole-of-university approach to advancing Indigenous education outcomes and corporate cultural competencies are key responsibilities of the OPVCILRO.

The incorporation of Indigenous perspectives and knowledge into the University’s core business is central to the goal of being the University of first choice for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and staff.

OPVCILRO plays a role in providing advice and advocacy services to both academic and professional staff around working with Indigenous students, communities and organisations.

Shaping the Future Forum - Hosted on 23 January 2019 at Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus

A presentation on research projects related to 'better understanding and responding to the needs of regional and remote Indigenous Higher education students in the NT'

These research projects were recently awarded a 2018 Australian Rural Education Award by the Society for the Provision of Rural Education in Australia (SPERA) for five intersecting Indigenous higher education related research projects emanating out of the Office of Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership CDU, over the past three years.

The award is for existing projects that demonstrate a proven link between a rural, regional and/or remote school or learning context and the local community, and benefiting a defined group.

These projects have included partnerships with BIITE, CQU and SUT and various funding bodies.

View presentations from the forum here:

Forum introduction
Welcome to Country – Bilawara Lee
Opening Remarks – Professor Simon Maddocks
Scene Setting – Mr Shane Motlap & Words from EPHEA – Ms Gabrielle O’Brien


Presentation 1 

'What does success look like in Indigenous higher education policy contexts in the NT?: Indigenous stakeholder perspectives' presented by Ms Catherine Street (PhD Student) & Mr Shane Motlap

Download the presentation

Presentation 2
'Barriers to, and facilitators of, Indigenous student success: Perspectives from the frontline' presented by Ms Kim Robertson & Professor James Smith

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Presentation 3
'Understanding Indigenous Student completions from two regional universities – What can cohort analysis tell us' presented by Ms Fiona Shalley

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Presentation 4
'Surveys with Indigenous students: What do they tell us?' presented by Ms Penny Szybiak

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Presentation 5

'Strengthening evaluation in Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia' presented by Professor James Smith & Dr Kellie Pollard

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Presentation 6
'Evidence-based actions to support remote Indigenous participation in higher education: What do we know and where to next?' presented by Ms Donna Stephens & Professor James Smith

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Presentation 7
'Building the Indigenous higher education workforce in Australia: What needs to be done?' presented by Dr Sarah Ireland & Ms Kim Robertson

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Presentation 8
'Provocations and contestations of boarding for remote students as a pathway into higher education' presented by Associate Professor John Guenther and Mr Andrew Lloyd

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Indigenous students at graduation

Indigenous leadership

CDU’s Office of Indigenous Leadership advises on ways to incorporate Indigenous perspectives to improve Indigenous education outcomes and to strengthen equity.

View our key documents.

Student assistance

Office of Indigenous Student Services (OISS)

The Office of Indigenous Student Services (OISS) team provide multi layered student support to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students achieve their tertiary educational goals.

Indigenous research students

Indigenous Research

CDU is dedicated to promoting Indigenous knowledges and perspectives into all aspects of the University; by participation in ethical research, providing expert analysis of research projects to develop sustainable livelihoods and preservation of knowledge.


Engagement & events

Celebrating Indigenous academic achievement, commemorating anniversaries of significant Indigenous struggles and victories, and promotion of local and regional festivals and events.