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Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney Dean Indigenous Education Office of The Deputy Vice Chancellor & Vice President (Academic). Teaching for Cultural Competence: Inclusion of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in Teaching Practices. a Kaurna Acknowledgment.

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Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney

Dean Indigenous Education

Office of The Deputy Vice Chancellor & Vice President (Academic)

Teaching for Cultural Competence: Inclusion of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in Teaching Practices

Bradley review of australian higher education 2008 p 32
(Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education 2008, p. 32).

  “Addressing access, success and retention problems for Indigenous students [and staff] is a matter of the highest priority…

To do this, higher education providers must not only address their learning needs but also recognise and act on issues such as the culture of the institution, the cultural competence of all staff – academic and professional – and the nature of the curriculum‟”

University of Adelaide

September 2012

University of Adelaide

October 2011

University of Adelaide


There is no one single definition of cultural competency

embed cultural competency at the institutional level so that they are encouraging and supportive environments for Indigenous students and staff and produce well-rounded graduates with the skills necessary for providing genuinely competent services to the Australian Indigenous community.


Cultural competence
Cultural Competence

University of Adelaide

Why cultural competency
Why Cultural Competency

  • 1967 First Aboriginal University graduate

  • Indigenous student and students under 1%

  • Population parity 2.2%

  • Fix Social Disadvantage

University of Adelaide

Why cultural competency1
Why Cultural Competency

  • Values diversity

  • Brings richness to learning for all

  • Address Indigenous disadvantage & reconciliation “Close Gap”

  • Graduate skills to work in diverse context

  • Workplace team cohesion

  • UoA Appeals more to diverse populations

  • Improves quality measures

  • Better competitive Position

  • Meets Compliance obligation

  • Higher Student Market Share

University of Adelaide

How we do it
How We Do It



First Year Student experience efficiency

Regional Engagement strategy

Increase Web footprint

Student Support and Retention

Curriculum renewal

Pre-university, pathways and access initiatives

Internal and external communications

  • Embed Uni wide Aboriginal Engagement Strategy

  • Embed Cultural Competency framework

    • Curricula and research

    • students and staff

  • Increase Aboriginal, LSES, 1st Generation, regional

  • Student and staff Tracking

  • Horizontal and Vertical


  • Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney: Adelaide University 2012

    Cultural competence1
    Cultural Competence

    Cross, Bazron, Dennis, and Isaacs (1989).

    Campinha-Bacote (1994)

    Collins 2007

    University of Adelaide

    Ten habits of effective teaching in indigenous education1
    Ten Habits of Effective Teaching in Indigenous Education

    • Quality Community Engagement

    • Modern Inclusive Sophisticated Vocabularies

    • Built in Not Bolted on

    • Library/Resources/1980

    • Proactive Leadership

      Training & Development

    • Graduate Attributes Accountability Monitoring

    • Community Events

    • Inclusive pedagogy

    • Examine your own cultural teaching and ‘Normal’ assumptions

    • Establish a safe environment

    Pedagogical framework for indigenous cultural competency
    Pedagogical Framework for Indigenous Cultural Competency

    A pedagogical framework = Broad principles (not classroom actions) based on research to guide quality delivery of curriculum.

    • Indigenous knowledges embedded in course

    • Quality and Accuracy of material taught

    • Model respectful professionals partnership

    • Strengthen quality of courses

    • Equity of outcomes


    University of Sydney - Inclusive teaching references

    Universities Australia