Flinders University recognised as national leader in supporting Indigenous talent

Flinders University has been recognised as a national leader in supporting Indigenous talent, receiving a prestigious SAGE Cygnet Award – the first university in South Australia to achieve this accolade – for fostering an inclusive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members.

The Cygnet Award from SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity), is a testament to Flinders University’s commitment to reducing barriers, building a culture of respect and inclusion, and cultivating opportunities for First Nations staff members.

From 2017 to 2023, Flinders University has significantly increased the representation of Indigenous staff from 0.7% to 2.53%, with a goal to achieve a 3% target by 2025, demonstrating a proactive commitment towards diversity and inclusion.

At the heart of this accomplishment are a number of targeted initiatives designed to attract, retain, and develop Indigenous talent, including the implementation of two Reconciliation Action Plans, the enactment of an Indigenous Workforce Strategy, and the establishment of robust governance mechanisms dedicated to overseeing Indigenous strategies.

Professor Colin Stirling, Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University, emphasised the significance of the Cygnet Award as a testament to the University’s progress and acknowledged that there is yet more work to be done.

“We understand the importance of leading by example as an institution of higher learning, and this award recognises the dedication of Flinders’ staff to significantly increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation at our university,” Professor Stirling said.

“The talented and committed indigenous staff who are contributing to our institution will inspire future generations and instigate lasting change.”

Professor Simone Ulalka Tur, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at Flinders University, commended the institution for its unwavering commitment to the sustainability of Indigenous employment, by prioritising the recruitment and retention of Indigenous staff.

“Flinders is dedicated to providing opportunities as well as contributing to the long-term advancement and self-determination asserted by Indigenous staff,” she said.

Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students) Professor Romy Lawson, Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and Professor Simone Ulalka Tur, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous).

The Cygnet Award is an addition to Flinders’ Bronze Award status under the Athena Swan framework in 2019, reaffirming the University’s dedication to gender equity.

Dr Janin Bredehoeft, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE, commended Flinders on its exemplary efforts in supporting Indigenous talent.

“Flinders’ interventions have resulted in tangible improvements in the experiences of First Nations employees, and we applaud their commitment to identifying and addressing areas for improvement.”

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