Resources ahead of the referendum

A message from Interim Provost Professor Meg Stuart:

Our students will soon join with others from across Australia in a special livestream event. Here’s some further resources to encourage respectful participation.

Voice to Parliament

Next Wednesday, ACU will have the opportunity to join with other university students across Australia to learn about the important issues and participate in a special Voice to Parliament referendum livestream event on Wednesday 2 August (5-6.30pm), The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice: A Dialogue for Students.

Hosted by The Australian National University (ANU), the event will engage university students in a dialogue with a diverse panel of guest speakers, who will also respond to questions from students.

We encourage our students to attend with importance placed on understanding the diversity of perspectives in response to the question about a Voice to Parliament. Several in-person watch parties will also be held at ACU campuses for students who wish to attend.

Respect for all voices

I encourage you to keep cultural respect and safety at the forefront of your mind as you talk with others about the issues. Our First Nations colleagues, students and communities are directly impacted by discussions and the outcomes of the referendum.

I acknowledge that even knowing how to talk to students about sensitive topics, particularly ones which deal with such complex issues can be really challenging. ACU has developed a resource page for staff containing key information and resources on how to discuss the referendum with students colleagues and communities, supporting culturally responsive teaching and learning spaces and where to seek further support. I hope that having access to these simple resources grounded in evidence-based research for each case, can help us navigate the tricky paths collectively.

And while universities are a place where we encourage informed and respectful dialogue – it’s equally important to apply a compassionate heart to conversations you may have with others about the referendum.

ACU supports the discussions and decisions of First Nations communities and out of respect to these diverse perspectives, ACU will not take a position on the Voice. We encourage all students and staff to engage wisely and to play an active role in the Voice referendum.

A Canvas update

The start of Semester 2 also signifies that Canvas is now officially live and our first semester of operational teaching for selected postgraduate kicks off.

We’re very excited for the streamline and efficiency that we know the new system brings, but like all new things, training and support is essential. If you haven’t yet done so, I encourage you to familiarise yourself with Canvas and get in early ahead of the undergraduate and remaining postgraduate units’ rollout from Summer Term 2024.

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