2000

Letter to Minister for Immigration re Need for Changes in Conditions of Asylum Seekers in Immigration Detention Click here to download file

Media Release 12 April 2000

Australian NGO Provides Asia-Pacific Forum For Women Graduates

The Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) holds its 31st Triennial Conference at the University of Adelaide, 17-20 April with the theme “Lifelong Learning – Effecting Change in the Global Society”. Graduate women from Thailand, the Philippines, Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Samoa will attend, sponsored by AusAID. Other delegates are from New Zealand, United Kingdom, and all Australian States and Territories. The President of the International Federation of University Women, Linda Souter, arrives from Canada on 12 April.

The State Government has recognised the international dimension of the conference with financial support, and receptions will be held for the 100 participants at Government House and the Town Hall

Two days of the conference are open to non-members. There will be a workshop on Tuesday 18 April to assist non-government organisations to make a positive contribution to policy issues affecting women.

An all-day Seminar on Wednesday will focus on the conference theme of Lifelong Learning with well-known speakers including Professor Denise Bradley, Vice-Chancellor, University of South Australia, Dr Ngaire Brown, formerly AMA Adviser on Aboriginal Health Mrs. Cathy McGowan, President of Women in Agriculture, Ms Fij Miller, Small Business Advocate, Adelaide.

The conference will be opened by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, Professor Mary O’Kane, at 9.10 am in LG29 of the Napier Building, on Monday 17 April

Media Release 25 June 1999

Book Launch: Meeting of Minds as Indigenous Education Experts Publish Findings

A National Conference on Indigenous Education, held in Adelaide last year, has resulted in the publication of ‘Indigenous Education and the Social Capital – Influences on the Performance of Indigenous Tertiary Students’,

Sponsored by the Australian Federation of University Women and supported by DETYA, it was published in collaboration with Curtin Indigenous Research Centre, the School of Cultural Studies and Yunggorendi, First Nations Centre for Higher Education and Research at Flinders University, and the Aboriginal Research Unit at the University of South Australia, the book was launched to-day at the Flinders City Art Gallery, in the presence of about 50 leading University personalities and experts in Indigenous Education.

The aim of the Conference was to provide the opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to speak out about and build strategies to meet the unique needs that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have within the University sector and facilitate a better understanding of Aboriginal perspectives in education.

Comments from participants included

* courageous

* positive in its intent and outcome

* inspirational

* challenging and stimulating

The conference featured speakers from around Australia ranging from educators and media producers to Indigenous students and documentary filmmakers. Some of the thirty three speakers at the Conference included Jackie Huggins, author and Deputy Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland; Daryle Rigney, Lecturer in Indigenous Studies/Education, Yunggorendi, Flinders University; Ann Flood, Director, Goolangullia Aboriginal Education Centre, University Western Sydney Macarthur; Veronica Arbon, Head of School of Community Studies, Batchelor, Northern Territory; Helen Curzon-Siggers, Director of the Monash Orientation Scheme for Aborigines and Karen Hughes, Documentary Producer

Some of the hard hitting conference presentations included Colleen Hayward, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Legal Service of WA who spoke on ‘Education by Edict – When all Else Fails – Blame the Victim’ , where she warned that WA’ s 1997 Education Bill could be this generation’ s legitimisation of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families. Tanya Hosch, a previous student at the University of SA, gave her own personal account of racism experienced at university and discussed who should take responsibility for addressing racism in the tertiary education sector.

Nancia Guivarra, Producer of ABC’ s AWAYE! Program, discussed the theft of cultural knowledge through Elizabeth Durack’s fabrication of Eddie Burrup; Ray Beamish’ s claims to Kathleen Petyarre’ s work and Leon Carmen’ s assumption of Wanda Koolmatrie, and the need for active inclusion of Indigenous culture at all levels of education. Christine Nicholls, Lecturer in Australian Studies at the Flinders University of SA, and who has spent a decade as Principal at a remote Aboriginal School in the Northern Territory, called for a Royal Commission into Indigenous Education to ensure equity in education, particularly at the level of secondary education, which she calls ‘The Missing Link’.

Commenting on the conference, President of the Australian Federation of University Women, Dr Daphne Elliott said, ‘This conference was an important one, particularly coming as it did when issues of reconciliation are foremost in many people’ s minds. The conference aimed to highlight curriculum which is relevant to Indigenous cultures and models for successful study for Indigenous students – particularly as they relate to health and housing.’

‘It was one of the most comprehensive forums for experts in their field to come together to discuss Indigenous education and its role in Australia. It is fitting that this event took place in South Australia, which has always played a lead role in the development of education in this country, The book is a rich and rewarding outcome from the Conference.” Dr Elliott said.

The book was launched today by Professor Paul Hughes who is Director of Yunggorendi First Nations Centre for Higher Education and Research at Flinders University

Media Release 11 June 1998

Meeting of Minds as Indigenous Education Experts Gather for National Conference

A National Conference on Indigenous education, organised by the Australian Federation of University Women, will take place at the University of South Australia in Adelaide from 18-19 June 1998.

Titled ‘Indigenous Education and the Social Capital – Influences on the Performance of Indigenous Tertiary Students’ , the conference will feature speakers from around Australia ranging from educators and media producers to Indigenous students and documentary filmmakers. Some of the thirty three speakers at the Conference include Jackie Huggins, author and Deputy Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland; Daryle Rigney, Lecturer in Indigenous Studies/Education, Yunggorendi, Flinders University; Ann Flood, Director, Goolangullia Aboriginal Education Centre, University Western Sydney Macarthur; Veronica Arbon, Head of School of Community Studies, Batchelor, Northern Territory; Helen Curzon-Siggers, Director of the Monash Orientation Scheme for Aborigines and Karen Hughes, Documentary Producer

Some of the hard hitting conference presentations include Colleen Hayward, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Legal Service of WA who will speak on ‘Education by Edict – When all Else Fails – Blame the Victim’ ; where she will warn that WA’ s 1997 Education Bill could be this generation’ s legitimisation of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families. Tanya Hosch, a previous student at the University of SA, will give her own personal account of racism experienced at university and will discuss who should take responsibility for addressing racism in the tertiary education sector.

Nancia Guivarra, Producer of ABC’ s AWAYE! Program, will discuss the theft of cultural knowledge through Elizabeth Durack’s fabrication of Eddie Burrup; Ray Beamish’ s claims to Kathleen Petyarre’ s work and Leon Carmen’ s assumption of Wanda Koolmatrie, and the need for active inclusion of Indigenous culture at all levels of education. Christine Nicholls, Lecturer in Australian Studies at the Flinders University of SA, and who has spent a decade as Principal at a remote Aboriginal School in the Northern Territory, will call for a Royal Commission into Indigenous Education to ensure equity in education, particularly at the level of secondary education, which she calls ‘The Missing Link’ .

Commenting on the conference, President of the Australian Federation of University Women, Dr Daphne Elliott said today, ‘This conference is an important one, particularly coming as it does when issues of reconciliation are foremost in many people’ s minds. The conference aims to highlight curriculum which is relevant to Indigenous cultures and models for successful study for Indigenous students – particularly as they relate to health and housing.’

‘This is one of the most comprehensive forums for experts in their field to come together to discuss Indigenous education and its role in Australia. It is fitting that this event should take place in South Australia, which has always played a lead role in the development of education in this country’ , Dr Elliott said.

Media Release

UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education Theme: “Higher Education in The Twenty-First Century: Vision and Action Paris, October 5-9 1998

The Australian Federation of University Women Inc. (AFUW) has been actively involved in this important World Conference on Higher Education. The President, Dr Daphne Elliott was a member of the International Federation of University Women delegation, and the Education Committee Convener, Dr Marion Myhill, was attending as a member of the Australian Government delegation.

Dr. Elliott comments that: “I am particularly delighted to see the prominence given to Lifelong Learning at the Conference. At last it has been recognised – internationally and nationally – that the time for lifelong learning has come. This is a very important step forward for women, particularly those who have had career breaks.”

Dr. Myhill has focussed at the Conference on women’s issues in higher education, equity and minority group access. She states: “It is very pleasing to hear that concern for gender equity and the issues relating to girls and women is very much part of the ‘vision’ for higher education in the twenty-first century right across the globe. Now we just have to make sure that this vision is translated into ‘action’.”

Considerable attention was given at the Conference to women’s issues – most particularly through a special thematic debate on “Women and Higher Education: Issues and Perspectives” in which the IFUW President was a panellist. AFUW was also pleased to see the acknowledgment given within the Australian statement to the Conference to some of the concerns that it has with regard to the numbers of women taking postgraduate research degrees, and pursuing academic careers, particularly at higher levels, and also to the issues that arise for Indigenous women in our education system. These were well articulated at the Indigenous Education Conference held recently in Adelaide, which was organised by AFUW.

AFUW delegates warned that women’s issues have still not yet been mainstreamed. However, at least the rights of women and the principles of equity and equal access to higher education have been universally endorsed by both developed and developing countries

Media Release July 14, 1997

Australian Federation of University Women Participates in UNESCO Regional Conference

The Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) had a paper accepted for the UNESCO Regional Conference on Higher Education, “National Strategies and Regional Cooperation in the Twenty-first Century”, held at the United Nations University in Tokyo, July 8 – 10. AFUW was the only Australian Non-Government Organisation represented. The paper entitled “The Implications for Higher Education in a Changing Economic and Social Environment” was presented by Dr. Daphne Elliott, President-Elect of AFUW and Visiting Scholar at Flinders University. (A brief outline of the paper is attached; full paper available.) Other delegates from Australia were a representative of DEETYA, three from the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, and one from the Higher Education Council.

The UNESCO Regional Conference was one of a series in preparation for the World Conference on Higher Education to take place in Paris in September – October, 1998. The Tokyo Conference discussed the basic principles and strategies which will support the reform and development process of higher education in Asia and the Pacific in the 21st century. Arising from the Conference the Tokyo Declaration on Higher Education was adopted and a Plan of Action for its implementation was approved. Gender inequality was one of the main trends in higher education in the region in the observations set out in the Declaration.

AFUW participation in the Conference was made possible with the financial support of the South Australian Minister for the Status of Women, Hon Diana Laidlaw, MLC, UNESCO, and the State and Territory branches of AFUW Inc. JAL assisted with a special airfare.