Indigenous Community Engagement (ICE)
Funding: Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Community and Access and supported through the School for Social and Policy Research
Summary: Forty-five people responded to the invitation to be involved in the Indigenous Community Engagement (ICE) project conducted under the auspices of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Community and Access at Charles Darwin University (CDU). The focus of the project was to research and evaluate CDU’s history of engagement with Indigenous communities – successes and difficulties, and possibilities for future enhancement. Respondents answered an email questionnaire, wrote short case studies, attended meetings and seminars, and responded to successive drafts of the report. Compared with other Australian universities, CDU has a reputation as a leader in Indigenous Community Engagement, in terms of both theory and practice. Most of this reputation arises as a result of work in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and in participatory research. Our engagement with Indigenous communities has, with a couple of notable exceptions, been less successful in the area of higher education teaching and delivery. Respondents recognised that the Community and Access team have achieved a lot within the university to build understanding about Community Engagement as the third arm of our work. They also note that there is more work to be done and many possibilities for further action.