Indigenous Engagement Strategy summary: CQUniversity Australia

CQUniversity Australia (Investment Decision July 2020). Contractual close was reached in November 2020.

Project Overview

NAIF loan of $76m will enable the delivery of asset maintenance on regional campuses including campus upgrades and refurbishments (physical works) as well as construction of new digital platforms and upgrades to existing digital platforms (digital works).  The digital works include new digital experience platforms and learning spaces for students as well as upgrades and enhancements to student administration, finance and other core systems and associated hardware.

The bulk of the physical works in the project are at multiple northern Australia campuses, with the majority of the digital works being undertaken in Rockhampton (the headquarters of the CQUniversity IT Department) which will benefit the whole university, not just northern Australian campuses. These upgrades and enhancements will ensure regional and remote students are provided facilities and access to support, equivalent to those being provided on the metropolitan campuses.

CQU’s multiple campuses cover many First Nations including the Darumbal People (Rockhampton), the Yuwibara People (Mackay), the Gurambilbarra Wulgurukaba People (Townsville), the Bailai, Gurang, Gooreng Gooreng, Taribelang Bunda Peoples (Gladstone and Bundaberg), the Western Kangoulu People (Emerald) and the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji and Yirrganydji Peoples (Cairns).

Key Commitments

The IES focuses on leveraging procurement opportunities from the project and supporting delivery of existing initiatives primarily through the Office of Indigenous Engagement across education, research, workforce and community development.

University-wide strategies aim to increase First Nations access to education, employment, community engagement and enterprise across the CQU footprint including through:

  • the First Nations Workforce Strategy;
  • the First Nations Education Strategy;
  • the First Nations Community Hub Model and Framework;
  • the First Nations Industry Engagement Strategy;
  • the First Nations Cultural Competently Framework.

Commitments in the procurement space are linked to the delivery of the projects and to achieving longer term outcomes across the University’s ongoing procurement activities including a review of CQUs Procurement Policy and Procedures.

Community Engagement

  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student participation on the twelve Region Engagement Committees and Student Representative Council and promote Indigenous students’ achievements through the Indigenous Alumni Award.
  • Progress the First Nations Council of Elders and Leaders, the Education & Enterprise Hubs, Woorabinda Research Hub Strategy, Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy and develop the First Nations Community Hubs Handbook.
  • Continue to develop and deliver the First Nations Cross-Cultural Competency Training Framework and offer the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience to CQU staff.

Supporting Stronger Communities

  • Build and increase CQU Indigenous procurement capacity utilising registers and networks to target Indigenous businesses; include non-price criteria in tender processes to consider contractors with performance in Indigenous employment, Indigenous business subcontracting and training programs; and require reporting by contractors on performance in delivering Indigenous employment, subcontracting, training etc including # contracts, $ value, FTEs Indigenous employees etc.
  • Review CQUs Procurement Policy and Procedures to increase Indigenous participation.
  • Develop a Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan and finalise and implement the Indigenous Leadership and Engagement Strategy (ILES).
  • Support actions to achieve a 3% Indigenous employment target for CQU staff, including finalising and implementing the First Nations Workforce Strategy.
  • Offer scholarships, cadetships and international exchange opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Develop and embed Indigenisation of the Curriculum and support the related Community of Practice.

Ministerial media release
Link to proponent webpage

CQUniversity’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Nick Klomp:

“CQUniversity is intent on thriving, not just surviving, after the impacts of COVID-19, so we need to continue to invest, to keep delivering world-class education, training and research for years to come.

“That’s why we’re leveraging the NAIF loan to invest in capital works and digital infrastructure that will improve the student experience, enhance the quality of teaching and learning, and create new economic opportunities for the regions we serve.

“This is an exciting time to be a regional university and I thank the Commonwealth for their support, as we continue to build a university that will help propel the future prosperity of Northern Australia.”

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