Griffith University celebrated National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week by educating Gold Coast students about Indigenous culture on Wednesday, July 5.
The university has a strong vision for reconciliation that acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wisdom as the oldest surviving culture worldwide and acknowledges their custodianship of the land on which all campuses are located.
The following is an excerpt of that vision statement.
“Griffith strives to be a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are valued and respected, and where First Australian Peoples’ cultures and knowledge form an integral part of our vision for learning, teaching, research and community engagement.”
Chris Keuntje and Mark Ferguson educating students on Gold Coast campus.
Aboriginal Health Worker Chris Keuntje said working within the Aboriginal community gives him a sense of enjoyment because it makes him feel proud of who he is and where he comes from.
“I actually went home about five years ago to learn more about my own culture and my own people from South Australia. It fulfilled that emptiness that I had inside of me because I previously didn’t know who I was,” Mr Keuntje said.
Indigenous-Australian Mark Ferguson said NAIDOC week is an important tool to educate the wider community to enforce positive change for a more inclusive Australia.
“Being on my own land, as an Aboriginal man, is very important to me. It’s important to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that the land is recognised. This week is something that we like to celebrate,” Mr Ferguson said.