The Centre for Indigenous Studies offers a range of resources, skills and support across our three core areas:
The Bachelor of Arts in Aboriginal Studies is a new development at Notre Dame allowing students to select from a number of Aboriginal Studies units which examine both the history of Indigenous peoples and their place in modern Australia. The elective units allow students to focus on disciplines of particular interest.
We are a research institution which focuses on three core areas of Education, Health and Country (land and sea, salt water, fresh water and desert people).
The University of Notre Dame Australia's Broome Campus is committed to providing strong support for the process of Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. It provides a supportive environment for all students and offers an opportunity for non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people to come together and learn about Aboriginal history and culture.
The Centre for Indigenous Studies is based in Broome, but has a whole of University approach that recognises and builds on existing commitments to Indigenous education. The Centre focuses on teaching, research, cultural outreach and cultural training with an aim to promote and integrate the mission of Reconciliation across all campuses. Leadership of the Centre resides with the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Broome, Sr Sonia Wagner sgs and the Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences, Broome, and Director of the Centre for Indigenous Studies Associate Professor Lyn Henderson-Yates.
We are fortunate to work under the guidance of Professor Patrick Dodson, School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Notre Dame Australia.
Professor Patrick Dodson has given a lifetime of service to the Australian community. He has been at the forefront of national issues that continue to shape the contemporary Aboriginal and Australian experience. He rightly carries the title: “Father of Australian Reconciliation”.
Professor Patrick Dodson is one of the nation's best-known leaders in the advancement of Reconciliation, and is the founder of national Aboriginal advocacy organisation, the Lingiari Foundation. Professor Patrick Dodson is a Yawuru man from Broome, Western Australia. As the former Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, he advanced national and international debate on the rights of Indigenous Australians and the dire need for a transformation of relationships between the wider nation state, it's citizens and the first people of this continent. He was also a Commissioner within the land-mark Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in Australia.
Over the last decade, Patrick Dodson has devoted himself to applying and extending the lessons of Reconciliation. Whether as a representative of the Yawuru people, lead negotiator for the Mirriwung Gajerrong people's native title claim, Chairman of the Kimberley Development Commission and the Lingiari Foundation, or as part of a developing partnership between the Aboriginal people of the Kimberley and Monivae College and Wesley College, he has worked tirelessly to bring together different sectors within Australia, all with their own concerns and interests. Patrick Dodson has taught the Australian community that Reconciliation is not an elusive ideal, but a practical, achievable reality for the future of our continent and all its peoples.
Professor Dodson has challenged us to reaffirm the principles of Reconciliation in the work of the Centre for Indigenous Studies. On the occasion of the launch of the Centre, Professor Dodson signalled the following challenges:
"Building inclusive structures and providing a welcoming environment for diversity and the nurturing of knowledge are ongoing tasks for all our educational institutions.
"Our institutions of learning must be active in challenging racism and intolerance and looking at ways of enhancing the capacity for all peoples to participate in the critical endeavour of learning. They must create symbols of tolerance, promote experiences of diversity and accept the need to accommodate difference as an asset not a barrier to greater participation.
"This is the challenge for the Centre for Indigenous Studies, the newest of our Kimberley Centres of Learning to encourage those that pass through its doors to: Stand in solidarity with others when they are oppressed because their security is our responsibility.
"Treat intolerance with disdain, cast the slurs of bigots into the abyss, and assert the values of your chosen faith in an instructive manner.
"Do all of these things using the powers of your intellect, the strength of your faith and the understanding acquired from your search for knowledge."
Professor Patrick Dodson
School of Arts and Sciences
The University of Notre Dame Australia