19 August 2019
USC and the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) have held a roundtable discussion recently to identify a shared pathway for working together on Butchulla Country – starting with K’gari (Fraser Island).
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the meeting was an important step in deepening the relationship between the University and the Butchulla People, the Traditional Owners on which the Fraser Coast Campus is located and Native Title holders of K’gari.
“This has the potential to establish a fresh approach for universities working with First Nations peoples in Australia,” Professor Hill said.
BAC Secretary Christine Royan said the BAC Board initiated the meeting to establish protocols and identify areas of mutual benefit, particularly in relation to K’gari, where USC operates a Research and Learning Centre at Dilli Village.
These initiatives include establishing educational pathways, embedding Indigenous perspectives in USC curriculum and field studies and the potential for joint research projects into areas such as biodiversity, climate monitoring and eco-tourism.
BAC Directors Mellissa Foley and Nai Nai Bird will work alongside USC representatives to progress identified outcomes from the meeting as well as advocate for a Butchulla Research Centre, a proposal originating from the K’gari Symposium held at the campus in 2018.
Professor Hill said that as the leaseholders for Dilli Village, USC had a long-standing commitment to supporting greater education and research outcomes that benefited K’gari.
“USC recognises and respects the ongoing traditional laws, customs and stories of the Butchulla people and welcomes the opportunity to work with the BAC on research, employment and educational opportunities connected with K’gari,” he said.