BIITE, CDU agree on Indigenous education hub 


Higher education opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will take a major step forward this week when the Northern Territory's leaders in Indigenous education sign a landmark agreement.

Coinciding with the National Close the Gap Day, Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) and Charles Darwin University (CDU) will sign the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education (ACIKE) Establishment and Governance Agreement at a ceremony on BIITE's Batchelor campus.

The Centre, which is being built on CDU's Casuarina campus, will be co-managed and run by CDU and BIITE staff and will house state-of-the-art instructional, research, teaching and computer facilities. The Centre is scheduled for completion in mid 2012.

CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover said the Centre would significantly expand Indigenous education in the NT.

"The Centre will increase the capacity of CDU and BIITE to deliver positive outcomes to Indigenous communities and the Higher Education sector in areas relating to Indigenous knowledge and education," Professor Glover said.

“It is fitting that the agreement signing falls on National Close the Gap Day as we continue to work towards closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.”

The Centre will be responsible for teaching and research in the multi-disciplinary fields of Indigenous knowledges and other general disciplines including nursing, education and arts at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

BIITE Director, Adrian Mitchell said the new ACIKE facility would be a valuable additional resource for Batchelor Institute staff and students.

“We look forward to working closely with Charles Darwin University and building on the existing strengths of both organisations,” he said.

“The new facility will enable us to jointly put in place a wider range of delivery options and services to support the successful participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in higher education, particularly in the areas of health, education and Indigenous Knowledges.”
The public signing of the ACIKE Establishment and Governance Agreement will take place on Thursday, 24 March from 2-4pm at Building A15, BIITE's Batchelor campus.