Indigenous education

A proactive community-based approach to Indigenous education.

Art and design students discussing work inside the Red Center build enviroment study space.

UNSW is committed to educating teachers who can empower Indigenous students to meet their potential in the classroom and provide a culturally sensitive teaching of Indigenous knowledges and histories to all students. 

We provide specialised courses in Indigenous education and the integration of Indigenous perspectives across all our programs, as well as extensive research and professional development opportunities. We employ several Indigenous-identified staff and work in close partnership with a range of Aboriginal communities, including the Eastern Suburbs Aboriginal Education Consultative group (AECG).  

We have initiated innovative community-based research projects in Indigenous Education to grow and develop our knowledge, such as the Culture, Curriculum and Community Project (CCCP) with the Little Bay Community for Schools, and have a growing research program.   

Teaching Indigenous knowledges & histories as a national priority 

At UNSW we embrace the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education is a National Priority Area. All our programs meet the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) professional standards for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and Indigenous knowledges and histories.  

Our teaching aims to promote active and informed citizenship and support reconciliation processes by building culturally-sensitive and critically-aware knowledge and skills, while fostering understanding and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Students at UNSW are offered enriching opportunities to engage in teaching and learning experiences that focus on Indigenous education policy, curriculum and pedagogy during their degree. As part of their first year, all preservice UNSW students undertake a community-based course in Indigenous Perspectives in Education with Indigenous perspectives embedded in every course in their program.  

Our experienced academics continuously examine our teaching degrees, making improvements that reflect the evolution in policy, curricula and academic landscape of Indigenous education.  

Empowering Indigenous students to choose their own path  

We work to empower Indigenous students to realise their full potential in their chosen career paths, with support and pathway programs for aspiring Indigenous teachers. 

Our Nura Gili outreach program allows us to continually expand involvement with schools in Indigenous communities.  

Nura Gili Winter School 

Each year the School of Education takes part in the Nura Gili Winter School Program, a highly regarded outreach and immersion program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students in Years 10-12 from across Australia. 

Students take part in a 3-day faculty program which provides diverse learning opportunities from lectures to interactive sessions and cultural excursions. Students experience the richness of incorporating Indigenous perspectives into education. 

What our participants say 

“It opens the idea of education being separate from schooling, which is so important.”  

“Listening to all the students currently studying education really inspired me because of the passion they had for their course.”

Nura Gili Preparatory Education Program 

The Nura Gili Preparatory Education Program for undergraduate students is an alternative pathway program for Indigenous Students into study at the UNSW School of Education. 

The program involves a 3.5-week intensive course to provide students with a structured introduction to university. In Australia, Indigenous Students’ university retention and completion rates are much lower than non-Indigenous students. This program is part of UNSW’s commitment to improving Indigenous education outcomes, allowing students to get a feel for university life and establish a support network prior to commencement.

What our participants say 

“I didn’t expect such personal, intensive treatment.”

“The program was very well structured and balanced – practical, theory and culture which was way beyond my expectations.”

“I loved the visit to Matraville Sports High School and getting insight into a school from an educator’s perspective.” 

Would you like to study education at UNSW?

Nura Gili, in conjunction with the School of Education at UNSW, has developed preparatory programs, open to Indigenous students who are looking to explore and apply for entry into undergraduate degree programs offered at UNSW in the area of Education.

Pre-Education Program

The program includes:

  • an introduction to teaching
  • academic literacy and classroom interaction
  • how students learn
  • the social context of schooling
  • Indigenous perspectives in education.

Go to Teach NSW Teacher Education Scholarships for more information.

Program duration: The Pre‐Programs will be held in Sydney at UNSW.

Venue and accommodation: The programs will be held on the Kensington campus of UNSW and accommodation is provided for on campus in student college facilities.

Who should apply? All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are seeking to qualify for entry into Education at UNSW.

What does it lead to? Successful completion of a Pre-Program may lead to entry into an undergraduate program at UNSW or a pathways (enabling) program.

Cost: The programs are free of charge.

How to apply

Applicants must also confirm their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent as part of the application process.

Applicants must also lodge an application with the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for the UNSW undergraduate degree program that they wish to study.

Further information: For more information about the Pre-Program or any other programs for prospective Indigenous Students, contact the Nura Gili Unit at UNSW.