The Charles Sturt University (CSU) has made history winning international recognition for its teaching of Reconciliation on Wiradjuri country in partnership with the Wiradjuri community.
CSU’s Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage took home third prize at the 2019 MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship where it competed against international entries.
The university, being largely based on Wiradjuri country, developed the one of a kind course with local Elders.
It aims to highlight ‘Yindyamarra’ (respect), the importance of self-determination for Wiradjuri peoples on Wiradjuri country and integrate Indigenous knowledge and culture into campus classrooms.
The program is lead and taught by members of the Wiradjuri community including Uncle Stan Grant (Senior), who said the win was incredibly significant.
“This award is fantastic, it means a heck of a lot to me … it’s my grandfather’s dream come true,” Dr Grant said.
CSU’s School of Indigenous Australian Studies Professor Sue Green said the win is acknowledgment to the dedication of those involved.
“The Graduate Certificate of Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage does really change lives and is grounded in the human rights of Wiradjuri people as the First Peoples of Wiradjuri country,” Professor Green said.
All students are welcome to enrol in the course, however those traveling outside of Wiradjuri country are required to identify and complete a project which benefits their community.
Proud Wiradjuri author, Dr Anita Heiss is currently enrolled in the program and said it’s a step towards what she hopes education will look like in the future.
“The Global Citizenship Award recognises the unique opportunity that Charles Sturt and our incredible teachers have provided not only Wiradjuri people, but all those interested in learning, maintaining and sharing our language,” Dr Heiss said.
“For myself, the experience of reclaiming sovereignty through this program has been incredibly powerful, and there is no doubt that this course makes a significant contribution to strengthening our future as the First Peoples of central NSW.”
CSU has every intention to continue this program, as the university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said its ongoing, positive impact in the community is a priority to the institution.
“[It] ensures that the University engages in a genuine and long-term contribution to cultural understanding with the Wiradjuri people,” Professor Vann said.
“Charles Sturt is a University that is deeply committed to our connections with Indigenous people and culture and I congratulate all involved with the program.”
The 2019 MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship was founded by the MacJannet Foundation and the Talloires Network.
All prize money will be funnelled directly into the Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage program.