Welcome from the Dean of the Sydney School of Veterinary Science

It is exciting to be able to present you with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander site of the Faculty of Veterinary of Science. We are very proud of progress we have made and invite you to be involved in our upcoming projects on cultural competence, research on indigenous animal management and supporting our wonderful students. Within this page you will find information about the range of Indigenous initiatives the Faculty is undertaking in the areas of curriculum for cultural competence, research, teaching, promotion of students’ achievements, introduction of our programs to prospective students, student support and community engagement.

You will also find news about our ambitious plans which include: embedding of Indigenous cultural competence and traditional knowledge into the curriculum; Faculty Indigenous seminars series presenting a range of topics related to animals in Indigenous settings, videos from current Indigenous students telling us about their journey and experiences; profiles with achievements of Indigenous Alumni; an unveiling ceremony for our Aboriginal art in teaching spaces; research on dogs in remote Indigenous communities, Faculty activities for the summer school/camp (Years 9-12) programs and other initiatives. All of these have been undertaken with the purpose of creating an environment which shows respect for other cultures, welcomes and supports changing perceptions among non-Indigenous people and creates an environment where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are recognised, celebrated and embraced.

The Sydney School of Veterinary Science has been a quiet achiever at the University of Sydney in terms of support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. We graduated several Maori (1950s) and Aboriginal (1980s) veterinarians many decades ago, although the history of these trailblazers is incomplete. Since we commenced our Cadigal entry program we have a 15-year record of success in supporting students of promise who come to the Faculty with numbers at 0.8-1.0% of our student body over the past decade. We are keen to lift participation, so we make available 12 percent of student places for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, rural and disadvantaged students. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can enter through the Cadigal Program, and graduation rates have equaled or bettered those of all students: 17 students have successfully completed degrees including PhD and Masters students. This success is due to the University and Faculty student support program, our high demand internationally accredited programs, flexible, research- led teaching, award winning veterinary students society, in-house leadership programs and a small, friendly faculty environment, all helping to support the effort of the students themselves. Our commitment to Indigenous students and building an environment that welcomes and celebrates Indigenous cultures and achievements is evident as one of the first vet schools in Australia to create a Sub-Dean Indigenous portfolio. In the next years we will implement findings of a review, and embed cultural competence across all years of the Faculty’s programs. All our graduates benefit from these initiatives, preparing them for working across diverse cultures in Australia and beyond.

We are always looking for ways to make further progress and invite your help, particularly to provide financial support (scholarships) for our talented, passionate veterinarians and animal scientists of the future. These are needed to assist with the additional costs for indigenous students undertaking professional placements in remote sites, providing greater opportunities for their career success. If you have any ideas or would like to be involved, please contact our Sub-Dean Indigenous Strategy, A/Prof Jaime Gongora.

Kind Regards,

Rosanne Taylor

Welcome from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services Professor Shane Houston

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services Professor Shane Houston

The University is a vibrant and diverse community, with our campuses standing on the traditional country of a number of Aboriginal peoples – the Cadigal, Deerubbin, Tharawal, Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri, Gamilaroi, Bundjulung, Wiljali and Gureng Gureng peoples. As a university, we are committed to integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, culture and science into our core activities to enrich our community, teaching and research. Its aim is to make the University a place where Aboriginal people are able to pursue academic interests, careers and contributions that are of intrinsic personal and academic pride, craft and purpose.

I am proud of the efforts and achievements of the Sydney School of Veterinary Science with their dedication to learn from Australia’s First Nation Peoples for staff and students to become responsible custodians of Country. Though the faculty’s initiatives of enhanced student support and curriculum development to embed cultural competence and traditional knowledge into teaching and research, we are paving the way for students from all social and cultural backgrounds to feel welcome and inspired to care of all creatures great and small.