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Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander - Establishing Status within the University Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This procedure reflects the University's commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Reconciliation as outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan and Reconciliation Action Plan.

(2) However, to access specific programs, services or opportunities available to Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons within the University they will need to establish Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status.

(3) This procedure outlines the process individuals need to follow to establish Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander persons within the University.

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Section 2 - Audience

(4) All individuals seeking to establish Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status within the University.

(5) University staff administering specific programs, services or opportunities available to Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander persons within the University.

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Section 3 - Procedure

(6) Persons seeking to establish Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status within the University will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate that they meet the following criteria;

  1. that they are of Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. This may be proven by originals or certified copies of:
    1. the applicant’s birth records and/or evidence of an immediate family member’s confirmation of Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status. Immediate family members include parents, siblings or grandparents; or
    2. a letter signed by an executive leader of an incorporated Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation, who has the authority to administer confirmation of Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander status, on the organisation’s letterhead (please also see Clause 8);
  2. that they identify as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. This may be proven by:
    1. self-identification as an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. The applicant should identify themselves as such on application and/or enrolment forms as applicable.
  3. that they are accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived. This may be proven by:
    1. a letter signed by a prominent member of an incorporated Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation, on the organisation’s letterhead.

(7) Applicants need to complete the ‘Establishing Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status Form’ and provide supporting documentation when submitting.

(8) Any letter signed by an executive leader of an incorporated Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation cannot be signed by an immediate family member of the applicant, or a current staff member of the University of Newcastle.

(9) Abstudy documentation or a supporting letter from organisations without the authority to provide confirmation of Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander will not be accepted as confirmation.

(10) Documentary evidence provided by the applicant will be assessed by a panel and responsible officer. The panel will be convened by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Leadership and members will consist, at a minimum, of:

  1. a representative from the Wollotuka Institute;
  2. a representative from the Board of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Research (BATSIER); and
  3. a representative from Nguraki.

(11) The panel may request further information from the applicant if required.

(12) The panel will make a recommendation to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Leadership who will make the final decision.

(13) Applicants will be advised of the outcome in writing by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Leadership.

(14) The panel or responsible officer may conduct a full or random audit of evidence provided to ensure contact details and letters of support are correct and legitimate.

(15) Confirmation documents and associated records provided by the applicant will be held on file. Supporting documents will be returned to the applicant or destroyed at the applicant’s request, as outlined on the application form.

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Section 4 - Supporting Information

(16) Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) – Proof of Aboriginality.

(17) Establishing Aboriginality and/or Torres Strait Islander Status Form