CDU to sign historic agreement with Yolgnu peoples 

Mawul Rom Board Co-Chair Patrick McIntyre, CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover and Mawul Rom Board Co-Chair Reverend Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and Rose Guywanga formalise the Mawul Rom Agreement in Darwin

Charles Darwin University and the Mawul Rom Board will sign an historic agreement today at the new Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education (ACIKE) on Casuarina campus.

The agreement follows a decade of detailed negotiations between the Yolgnu peoples of East Arnhem Land and senior academics with the Northern Territory’s university.

CDU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said the agreement would formally underpin the university’s partnership with the Mawul Rom Board in the delivery of a Masters of Indigenous Knowledges (Mawul Rom).

“We are delighted to be signing this agreement to formally establish the higher degree program, which involves cross-cultural education and training in dispute and conflict resolution, decision-making and leadership utilising Indigenous traditional and non-Indigenous ways of learning.”

The Vice-Chancellor and Co-Chairs of the Mawul Rom Board, Rev. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and Patrick McIntyre, will sign the agreement in the new ACIKE lecture theatre at Casuarina campus, Building Blue 2a, at 11.30 am today.

Mr McIntyre said that through the agreement CDU would become the first Western academy to embrace the dignity and mutual status of an Indigenous academy, according to their own legal system.

“We have here mutual recognition by two academies according to their own laws, Madayin Law of the Dhurili Nation and Australian Law,” Mr McIntyre said.

Associate Head of CDU’s School of Indigenous Knowledges and Public Policy (SIKPP), the CDU School responsible for the administration of the Mawul Rom Masters, Mr Greg Williams agreed.

He said the historic agreement was a testament to the “mutuality of recognition and esteem of the two academies”.

“Mawul Rom is distinctive in that it seeks to formalise the relationship so that the equality and the mutual recognition of the legitimacy of the two parties as academic traditions in their own right stand out,” Mr Williams said.

Already the program boasts more than 20 graduates, and in 2013 more than 100 students are enrolled. The CDU Master of Indigenous Knowledges (Mawul Rom) graduates will be well-placed to become accredited mediators and leaders in cross-cultural contexts.

For more information about enrolment, contact the CDU SIKPP on (08) 8946 6482.