Institute of Koorie Education

Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS)



The overall objective of Deakin University is to respond to the higher education needs of Indigenous Australian communities, through its established expertise in distance education. Linked to this objective, is the recognition that the higher education needs of Indigenous Australian communities will be met by delivering equity courses, which provide quality education to Indigenous students who enter the University.

The University has a successful history in delivering courses to Indigenous Australian students through its community-based mode of curriculum development and teaching support. These courses have been successfully studied and completed by students in urban, provincial, rural, and remote communities across Australia.

The Institute of Koorie Education engages in curriculum development utilising pedagogical practices that inform different approaches for the inclusion of Indigenous Australian knowledge and perspectives in course delivery. It should be noted that the Institute of Koorie Education does not deliver bridging programs but is solely dedicated to providing quality undergraduate and post-graduate degree courses across all faculties of the University. In this context the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (I.T.A.S). is utilised as an essential tutorial provision supplementing the contact students receive from Deakin based lecturers.

Eligibility and Entitlements

To be eligible to receive I.T.A.S. tutoring a student must be an Indigenous Australian and be enrolled in an undergraduate or post-graduate course of study at Deakin University. Once eligibility is confirmed, students are entitled to receive a maximum of two hours tutoring per unit per week and an additional five hours in total during examination preparation periods.

Prospective tutors who are tertiary students themselves must be:

  • Studying a major sequence of units in the subject area in which the student needs tutoring,
  • At least two academic years ahead of the student,
  • Able to show evidence of sound academic progress, and
  • Not themselves receiving I.T.A.S. tuition in that subject area.

How do I become a tutor?

To register as a tutor you must complete, an I.T.A.S. Tutor Retainer Agreement, Deakin University Casual Academic Recruitment Authority, and provide evidence of qualifications. Note: Acceptance of an I.T.A.S. Tutor Retainer Agreement is not a guarantee of work, or continuing work. Tutors will be contacted if services are required. The I.T.A.S. Tutor Retainer Agreement is available in electronic form by contacting the I.T.A.S. Coordinator.


The Institute of Koorie Education encourages both students and tutors to be flexible in the way in which they participate in tutorials. It is important for both parties to be satisfied with the tutoring arrangements that have been set in place. For example, a student and tutor may decide that for convenience, it is satisfactory for both parties to meet at the student's residence. Yet other students and tutors may wish to meet at either the tutors home, place of work or a third place such as a local library. Whatever the ultimate arrangements for meeting, it is important that both parties involved are satisfied with the tutoring arrangements.

How do I obtain a tutor?

To obtain an I.T.A.S. tutor you must complete and return a student application form available from the Institute of Koorie Education, or contact the I.T.A.S. Coordinator on the numbers above or by email from the I.T.A.S. Coordinator. Students may themselves, wish to contact prospective tutors in their local areas by approaching universities, T.A.F.E.s, primary or secondary schools, or appropriate businesses to see who may be willing and able to provide services. These prospective tutors may then be put in touch with the I.T.A.S. Coordinator to be approved as tutors.

Conflict of interest

  • Both students and tutors need to be aware that the following restrictions apply to tutors and students for individual or small group tuition:
  • Tutors must not be members of the student's immediate or de facto family,
  • I.T.A.S. tutors must not be the student's regular class or subject teacher, lecturer, or tutor.

What if I am not satisfied with my I.T.A.S.tutor?

If, for any reason a student becomes dissatisfied with their I.T.A.S. tutor they should notify the I.T.A.S. Coordinator at the Institute of Koorie Education. Students should feel that they are under no obligation to continue to participate in tutoring arrangements if they become dissatisfied. The Institute of Koorie Education understands that I.T.A.S. tutoring may be a personal experience that requires both parties to be satisfied with existing arrangements.

Role of I.T.A.S. tutors

The Institute of Koorie Education's programs are designed to be responsive to individual students' needs and to be sensitive to the possible impact of non-educational factors on educational achievement. The I.T.A.S. tutors are essential in this process, particularly with first level students who will sometimes need to be coached in the essentials of organising themselves for success in academic achievement.

Remember that as an I.T.A.S. tutor the role is one of providing supplementary tuition, a generalist tutor, which means that the content of any particular units that pertain to a student's degree must not be taught.

Educational and teaching support over long distance is the core practice of the day to day operations of the Institute of Koorie Education. Students can select from a wide range of subjects and sometimes they can be the only one in their location to study a particular unit. Consequently, they can find themselves fairly isolated in their study. It is in addressing this isolation that the I.T.A.S. tutor is essential to the Institute's operations, particularly in the case of first level students.

In terms of best practice, what would the Institute like to see?

When student and tutor first make contact, they will arrange a meeting at which they will discuss the next semester's work. They will decide upon a regular time and place for their tutorials, and stick to it. The I.T.A.S. tutors should examine the timetable included for their students to ascertain when their students are attending 'intensive blocks' and when they are in their local communities, and plan their tutoring schedule accordingly. Both will be prepared for each tutorial, and leave each session knowing what they need to prepare for the next tutorial. The required paperwork will be completed promptly, and any difficulties will be discussed with the I.T.A.S. Coordinator after discussions with the student. The emphasis will always be upon empowering the student in a positive and encouraging way to develop the educational skills required for independent academic scholarship.

Cultural integrity

At a subtler, yet fundamental level, the role of the I.T.A.S. tutor can be to facilitate the progressive strengthening of a student's cultural identity. This is done by assisting the student with expressing in a number of ways, their own perspective or understanding of their studies and the relevance of their own experiences within that understanding.

Study skills

There are a number of crucial ares of a student's work which the Institute of Koorie Education requires I.T.A.S. tutors to concentrate upon, especially in the early stages of a student's course at Deakin. These will involve assisting the student to acquire the basic skills required for academic success, including essay writing, and academic & research skill. (More detailed information regarding these areas may be obtained from the I.T.A.S. Coordinator at the Institute of Koorie Education.

These requirements should be kept in mind when Tutor Work Programs are developed and they should be commented upon in the Student Progress Reports. In the final analysis there is some room for tutors and students to ascertain what is the most effective way of spending tutoring time.

More generally, when in doubt I.T.A.S. tutors and/or students may seek advice from the Institute of Koorie Education based lecturers, who may in any case make a courtesy call at the time of commencement of tutoring, or as soon as is practicable afterwards.

I.T.A.S. tutors may consider that they are entering into a relationship with the Indigenous Australian community rather than an individual member of that community. The Institute of Koorie Education wishes tutors to embrace and encourage the Indigenous Australian knowledge bases that exist in this country, in students' work. A general rule might be to concentrate upon study skills and essay structure, and to focus upon extracting ideas from students, or directing them to appropriate resources, and to avoid providing ideas. The Institute of Koorie Education relies upon professional competence regarding the extent and nature of assistance given to students.

Project Officer (I.T.A.S. Coordinator)
Deakin University, Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds, Australia 3217

Extension: 03 5227 1190.
Reception: 03 5227 2538.
Facsimile: 03 5227 2019.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

16th November 2010