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Through the Institute of Koorie Education, Deakin University is the largest and most successful provider of university-level education to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in Victoria. It has one of the Australia’s highest enrolments and is recognised as the ‘university of choice’ among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
For more than 20 years, the Institute has provided university-level education to nation-wide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students using a model that allows students to undertake their studies without compromising family and communities responsibilities.
The work of the Institute provides some of the most powerful examples of the life-changing impact of education. Deakin’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates are making a significant difference in their communities as nurses, social workers, lawyers, teachers, artists, health professionals and as cultural experts in natural resources management working with traditional owners.
Community-based learning model
The Institute of Koorie Education successfully overcomes the issues of isolation – geographic, cultural and personal – that have hindered other attempts to improve the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student participation within Australian universities.
The Institute’s success lies with its community-based learning model. This involves a combination of on and off-campus teaching which enables students to access Deakin’s teaching and learning excellence while remaining connected to their families and communities.
After completing one and two-week intensive study blocks at Deakin’s Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, the Institute’s students return to their communities where they are supported through a number of responsive teaching and learning strategies. These include supplementary tutoring via teleconference and community visits by academic teaching staff. This model of cultural respect is the key reason for the Institute’s success in attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
The Institute of Koorie Education welcomes support from businesses, individuals and philanthropic organisations in three areas:
Financial assistance for the Institute of Koorie Education will help expand educational opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and make a significant contribution to capacity building in these communities.
To support the Institute of Koorie Education and help us expand opportunities in higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, contact University Development.
The Pratt Foundation Scholarships at the Institute of Koorie Education
'If Australia has aspirations to position itself as a smart economy, investing in education must be its highest priority.
We are proud to support the students of the Institute of Koorie Education and I urge the corporate and philanthropic sectors to be active providers of funds to higher education. This is a good thing to do and is enlightened self-interest.'
Mr Richard Pratt, founder, the Pratt Foundation
'The Institute is innovative because it is based on the consensus of the Elders and Koorie community of Victoria. It is theirs. They put it together. In other places it is done from the top down, but here it is done by the communities themselves and addresses their needs.
'At the lnstitute we share experiences in the classroom. You are enriched and you go out from here and build on it in a very practical and personal way, and in that way it is much richer for you and for your community.'
Jacqueline Johnson, graduate