RMIT launches Dhumbah Goorowa

As part of National Reconciliation week, RMIT celebrated the launch of its second Reconciliation Plan, Dhumbah Goorowa.

Dhumbah Goorowa, RMIT’s 2019–2020 Reconciliation Plan, was officially launched on Wednesday with a series of celebrations at the University’s City, Brunswick and Bundoora campuses.

Dhumbah Goorowa means ‘commitment to share’ in the language groups of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung peoples of the eastern Kulin Nation– a central theme across all three launch events.

The Plan set out a number of initiatives the RMIT will undertake as part of its journey towards a shared future with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples, knowledges and cultures. 

Shauntai Batzke opened the City event with the call "Womin Djeka" inviting people to gather.

The University had built a strong foundation for reconciliation through the implementation of its first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2016, which was embraced by the RMIT community.

Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE highlighted the first Reconciliation Plan in his address as the catalyst for a substantial shift in the RMIT’s culture.

“We are launching a plan that will be another step change in the maturity of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” he said.

“We’re going to take a leap ahead in our focus on Indigenous self-determination by strengthening our bonds through institutional values, governance, policy and practice.”

Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE highlighted the first Reconciliation Plan in his address as the catalyst for a substantial shift in the RMIT’s culture.

Dhumbah Goorowa will make essential changes in redefining the University’s relationship working with and supporting the Aboriginal community while transforming our ways of knowing, working and being on Country.

Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement Director Stacey Campton who MC’d the City launch proudly reflected on what we have achieved in our representation of reconciliation at RMIT.

“Your ngulu (voice) has been represented in this plan,” Campton said.

“You spoke, we listened and heard what your vision for Reconciliation can be at RMIT and beyond.”

RMIT Academic Services Officer Shauntai Batzke, a proud Wiradjuri woman, was the key performer at the City launch. An accomplished Opera Soprano and principal artist with Australia’s only Indigenous Opera Company, Short Black Opera, Shauntai closed the ceremony by performing Babirra Nyiwarri (‘Sing Darling’) an original piece in her own Wiradjuri language.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Science, Engineering and Health Professor Peter Coloe, along with Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and Engagement Professor Mark McMillan, hosted the Bundoora event, while Dean of the School of Fashion and Textiles Professor Robyn Healy and School of Management Professor Mark Rose, officiated at Brunswick.

The Acknowledgement of Country at each campus was performed by RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) representatives including RUSU President Ella Gvildys, Caitlin Agra and Kingston Goh.

Dhumbah Goorowa forms a key part of the next chapter in RMIT’s reconciliation journey.

View the Dhumbah Goorowa Reconciliation Action Plan for 2019 – 2020 here.

 

Story: Maddy Pattison

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

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