Why our students need the Indigenous Graduate Attributes

by | 21 Sep, 2017 | 0 comments

And why our IGA champions decided to take up their roles...

UTS CAIK logoIndigenous Graduate Attribute (IGA) Champions are an integral part of The Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges (CAIK) plan to ensure that all UTS graduates develop Indigenous professional capability.

Since 2015, the team from CAIK have been leading the implementation of the UTS IGA project, first approved by Academic Board in late 2013. Just as Academic Board recognised that specialist expertise would be needed for successful implementation of the project, CAIK wanted to have key contacts in each faculty who could work with them, and their colleagues, to enhance each faculty’s approach to the project. Knowing that for Indigenous staff this work often goes unrecognised, CAIK developed a position description with a workload allocation (and as a bonus printed T-shirts!). The Champions are currently working in a range of ways from taking a key role in the faculty based IGA Working Groups to advising staff who are developing curriculum or applying for Teaching and Learning grants to fund IGA related projects. We look forward to continuing to work with the IGA Champions in 2018!

Two of our IGA champions tell us why they’re important

Sarah Attfield, Scholarly Teaching Fellow in the School of Communication

I was very keen to apply for a role as an Indigenous Graduate Attributes Champion due to a long interest in Indigenous creative arts, writing and film. Since I began teaching at UTS in 2007, I have included Indigenous content in my film studies, communication and creative writing classes. There has been a wealth of material to choose from, representing diverse Indigenous views and experiences, and providing non-Indigenous students with important insights into Indigenous lives and providing Indigenous students with chances to engage with self-representation.

I have also been increasingly interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and being an IGA champion is a way to blend my interest in Indigenous cultural products with the knowledge I have gained on aspects of teaching and learning such as constructive alignment (making sure that content and assessment aligns with graduate attributes).

Thalia Anthony, Associate Professor in Faculty of Law

IGAs are a critical premise for developing the cultural competence of future lawyers, justice practitioners and advocates for Indigenous people and communities. The IGA at UTS provides an avenue for developing relationships between the Faculty of Law, CAIK, Jumbunna and the local Indigenous community to collaboratively enmesh Indigenous world views, legal frameworks, justice demands in law subjects.

Through the IGA’s focus on learning through doing, Law is working with Jumbunna to establish a strategic litigation clinic that is driven by the needs and priorities of Indigenous nations, communities and organisations. In the clinic, students will acquire practical skills in working with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous justice and self-determination. The IGA is not just an outcome, but an ongoing process that has galvanised Law staff to reflect on their teaching and learning and its implication.

For more on the IGA’s, take a look at:UTS IGA logo

Mapping the Journey: how UTS is working toward the Indigenous Graduate Attribute

Indigenous Graduate Attribute Resources

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