CDU and Larrakia people sign historic agreement

13-Sep-2013

Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover, LNAC Director and Secretary Darryn Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation Ilana Eldridge, CDU Chancellor Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas, Chair of Larrakia Development Corporation Mark Motlop, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership Professor Steve Larkin mark the historic agreement.

A historic Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to formally strengthen the relationship between the Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation (LNAC), the Larrakia Development Corporation (LDC) and Charles Darwin University.

The MOU outlines CDU’s formal acknowledgement and recognition of the Larrakia people and its commitment to the ongoing development and strengthening of the relationship between all parties.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership Professor Steve Larkin said the partnership included a range of commitments to formally acknowledge the Larrakia people as the traditional land owners.

“The CDU and Larrakia MOU is not only symbolic, the MOU acknowledges, embraces and commits to the many steps we will collectively take through shared aspirations and opportunities now and into the future,” he said.

Professor Larkin said that while the MOU committed each of the parties to a range of items he was excited to announce two components in particular.

“CDU will formally acknowledge the Larrakia people on both the Casuarina and Palmerston campuses through a range of material and symbolic signage, cultural representation and ceremony,” Professor Larkin said.

“With the MOU officially endorsed, we can now commence the process of appointing CDU’s first ever Larrakia Elder-in-Residence, which recognises the importance of Elders in Indigenous society and demonstrates a commitment to Indigenous Knowledges in CDU’s learning, teaching and research with students and staff.

The Larrakia Elder-in-Residence will be responsible for providing a range of culturally informed guidance, direction and support to CDU’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff and stakeholders with an appointment expected to take place before the end of the year.

Professor Larkin said the collaboration between CDU and the Larrakia people’s peak representative bodies had the potential to dramatically affect the quality of engagement, sense of community and most importantly a sense of belonging for Indigenous and non-Indigenous CDU students and staff.

The signing ceremony took place today (Friday, 13 September) at the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education at CDU. Formal signatories to the MOU included: CDU Chancellor Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas, Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover, LNAC CEO Ilana Eldridge, LNAC Director and Secretary Darryn Wilson, LDC CEO Nigel Browne and LDC Board Chair Mark Motlop. ENDS

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