Download: NATSIPA & CAPA’s Response Submission to the University Accords Discussion Paper
NATSIPA and CAPA would like to express our disappointment that The Accord Discussion Paper has failed to Acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and connection to Country. The discussion paper also fails to consider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as a specific group, with a specific set of questions for this group and notes that there was a limited reference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the paper. In addition, the discussion paper largely positions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in terms of deficits that need to be remedied and pigeonholed in the equity and diversity sections of the paper alongside other marginal groups. We urge the Accord Panel to reverse this deficit-based approach. The discussion paper fails to Acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and connection to Country.
CAPA and NATSIPA believe the Accord should be structured to address the existing higher education system’s existing inequalities. Its focus should reflect on systemic inequalities within our current policies, attitudes and practices, which discriminate against different groups within our society.
A key objective of the Accord ushers in a new system that increases choice and accessibility regardless of gender, race, ethnocultural background, age, socio-economic background, disability, mental health status and/or sexual identity. Successfully doing so would enable greater participation and allow more people to reach their full potential as active contributors to our society. Any decisions that relate to higher education should clearly include meaningful consultation and discussion with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across universities, industry, and VET.