by STEVE LARKIN
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education is a dual sector provider that services the education, training and research needs of First Nations peoples.
The Institute currently provides, * VET programmes, primarily to regional and remote NT First Nations students), * units into enabling and undergraduate courses of Charles Darwin University (CDU) and * research masters and PhD programmes.
The Institute has a long and proud history of providing education and training to the most disadvantaged section of the Australian population, in an often extremely challenging environment.
For more than forty years Batchelor Institute has been a leader of First Nations self-determination; growing and strengthening our organisations, services and leadership. We educate to liberate, and believe education is transformative for individuals and communities.
Batchelor’s “both-ways” philosophy defines the way in which the Institute works and teaches. It is demonstrably a First Nations approach to teaching and interacting where First Nations ways of doing inform a western educational system.
The Institute is committed to regaining AQF undergraduate accreditation to achieve our vision of providing seamless pathways for First Nations students across Australia, from VET through to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
We strive to be the First Nations institution of choice, where truth, knowledge and wisdom meet. Our goals are to partner on our own terms and build strength through alliances with First Nations organisations, and premier tertiary education and research institutions across Australia and internationally.
The Institute is implementing essential change management-processes and developing and adopting best practice organisational checks and balances.
COVID-19 has underscored the systemic issues of inequity of access to education for Indigenous students, and their particular vulnerabilities when face-to-face learning is not possible. In response, we have developed a dual strategy inclusive of on-line delivery and traditional mixed mode methodology. We have implemented new developments to the courses and support offered within our HDR programs, benchmarked against national structures and standards. We doubled our small but growing PhD graduate alumni in 2019.
Our council is currently chaired by Patricia Anderson AO. The Council and Executive are largely comprised of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, making Batchelor Institute the only First Nations-led, dual sector tertiary education facility in Australia. This uniqueness is a source of great pride and responsibility.
Council recently conferred the Institute’s first honorary doctorates. These awards allow the Institute to recognise important contributions in a range of fields that underpin improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Australian and international society over many decades. In 2019, the late Dr Barbara Cummings and Dr Rosalie Kunoth-Monks OAM were recognised.
We are consulting with a range of partners on how to continue to best serve the educational needs of our First Nations communities during these uncertain times and continue to reposition the Institute on a stronger governance, organisational and financial footing in order to achieve the transformative aspirations of our new strategic plan.
Professor Steve Larkin PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education