Fireside Conversation – COMMUNITY CLOSURE: LIFESTYLE CHOICE OR LIVING CULTURE

Natural Amphitheatre, University of Queensland, St Lucia (Opposite Wordsmiths)

Panellists include: Sam Cook and Paul Spearim

Fire, Music by Condy Canuto, and Food

Supported by the NTEU, UQU and Goorie Berrimpa

Staff and students at the University of Queensland will hear from a panel of Aboriginal experts about the forced closures of Aboriginal communities at an event being organised by the National Tertiary Education Union and the UQ Student Union on Thursday, April 23.

The “Fireside Conversation #1” will be an opportunity to increase understanding about this controversial topic that has generated widespread protest across Australia, and captured significant media attention. The panellists, including Sam Cook, Paul Spearim and Mary Graham, have deep and extensive knowledge, promising a lively and informed discussion.

The event is also intended to strengthen a broader engagement with indigenous knowledges and peoples through sharing spaces, sharing hospitality and sharing conversations – building upon the long presence of indigenous staff and students at the university.

“It is important to create a safe space in the University, which is attempting to grapple with improving employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians, and improving student outcomes”, said Andrew Bonnell, UQ Branch President of the NTEU.

“The appointment of a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Education) in 2011 was a positive step, but we would like to see greater commitment through stronger employment programmes, and better recognition of the tremendous body of knowledge held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

“The event is open, and we encourage staff and students to attend, and learn about this important issue.”

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