In the past five years, Indigenous graduate research student numbers at the University of Melbourne have more than tripled, from 15 in 2014 to 48 in 2018. Over the same period, Indigenous higher degree coursework student numbers have risen from 93 to 111.
In response, Indigenous postgraduate students decided there was a need for representation at a graduate level. With the support of the University’s Murrup Barak Institute for Indigenous Development and Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, they formed a student-led representative body – the Indigenous Graduate Student Association (IGSA).
IGSA recognises the people of the Kulin Nations as the Traditional Owners and sovereign Custodians of the land on which the majority of the University of Melbourne campuses are located. Our members pay respect to Elders past and present, and recognise the important contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to the academic and cultural life of the University.
IGSA has a number of aims that relate to the support of graduate coursework and research students, collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and staff, and guiding and encouraging potential future Indigenous graduate students. These aims include:
- To foster the communication of research ideas and collaboration between all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduate students and non-Indigenous students with an interest in research and practice relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- To encourage and support non-Indigenous researchers to undertake Indigenous-related research agendas.
- To engage and support undergraduate students and other Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who are interested in undertaking postgraduate study.
- To provide academic and professional development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduate students through social, cultural and academic events that promote networking.
- To host and promote academic and social events that help strengthen the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduate community.
- To advocate on behalf of, and provide support to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate and graduate students in their engagement with the University.
- To support and encourage Indigenous students and community members to undertake further study.
More about our aims and details on becoming a member can be found in our Constitution.
Indigenous graduate student space
IGSA has successfully secured a student space for our cohort of Indigenous graduate students on Level 3/100 Leicester Street, Carlton. The space offers multiple computers, printers, break-out areas, lockers and kitchen facilities. Please make use of the space so that we can keep our tenure.
If you are having difficulty accessing the space with your student card, just let Carly Donovan from Murrup Barak know so she can organise your access. She can be contacted on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiernan Ironfield – Co-Chair
Josh Cubillo – Co-Chair
Nicole Paul – Secretary
Ngaree Blow – Treasurer
We can be contacted via email at: email@example.com
- IGSA 2014
- IGSA 2013
The IGSA held its second Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Symposium on 15 October 2012. The theme for the symposium was: A showcase of Emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.
The 2012 symposium had 20 presentations from graduate students, across a range of disciplines, including education, health, art, history and cultural studies.
The aims of the 2012 Symposium were:
- Present the most recent emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research from University of Melbourne graduate students;
- Promote and foster participation of the whole of the University of Melbourne community in supporting and learning about Indigenous Australian research; and
- Support the academics and professional development of all graduate students with an interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.
The IGSA held its inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Symposium on 3 November 2011, the theme for the symposium was: Putting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research to Work.
The symposium was fully subscribed with 38 presentations from the University and over 142 attendees including members of the broader community. The symposium showcased the breadth and excellence of Indigenous research currently being undertaken at the University of Melbourne and provided graduate students with an invaluable opportunity to present and discuss their research in a collegiate environment.
- Kevin Rowley, Rachel Reilly, Joyce Doyle, Sharon Atkinson-Briggs, Bradley Firebrace: Creating Healthy Environments: The establishment of the Goulburn-Murray Aboriginal Health Promotion Alliance
- Emma Kowal: From scientific specimen to Indigenous cultural property: Studying Indigenous DNA collections
- Janet McGaw, Anoma Pieris & Emily Potter: Assembling the Centre: Architecture for Indigenous Culture