Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council Terms of Reference

Purpose

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council (the Council) provided advice to the Minister for Education, on enhancing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in higher education and research.

Membership

Members of the Council were appointed by the Minister for Education in October 2012 as set out in the document Terms and Conditions under which the membership of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council may hold office.

Membership is by invitation by the Minister and members will be appointed for their skills and/or expertise. Appointments to the Council will be designed to ensure that the Council has both depth and diversity of experience and expertise across: Indigenous education; research and research training; university governance; economics; business; public policy; the professions; and community engagement. The Council will have majority Indigenous membership.

The Minister will appoint two Co-Chairs who will be Executive Members, comprising an eminent Indigenous Academic and a Vice-Chancellor.

The Minister will appoint two additional Executive Members to support the Co-Chairs and oversee the work of the Council with a particular focus on ensuring the progress of the Council’s work plan between Council meetings.

The Minister will further appoint at least six ordinary members following consultation with the Co-Chairs and Executive Members.

The following will have non-Member participant status at Council meetings:

  • Associate Secretary, Department of Education
  • Chair, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium

Functions and processes

  • The Minister will, on establishment of the Council, and from time to time at the Minister’s discretion, write to the Co-Chairs to identify key priorities for the Council’s attention.
  • The Council will develop an annual work plan to support those priorities, to be approved by the Minister.
  • The Council will meet not fewer than three times each year to review progress against the work plan.
  • The Council may, on an ad hoc basis, provide advice to the Minister in relation to any issues that may impact on higher education access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff.
  • The Council may from time to time establish working groups to progress specific issues and may invite external participants to join those working groups where particular expertise or skills are needed. Any working groups established by the Council will be specific and time-limited.
  • The Council should engage with the National VET Equity Advisory Council, and other relevant stakeholders.