Review panel and terms of reference

For: 

The review panel

A review panel was appointed to direct the Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The panel examined how higher education outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people contribute to nation building and the reduction of Indigenous disadvantage.

The panel included:

  • Chair: Professor Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law and Indigenous Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney
  • Professor Steven Larkin, Chair of the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC) and Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, Charles Darwin University
  • Senior executive representatives from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (the department).

Advice of key stakeholders, especially IHEAC, was considered and incorporated by the panel. The panel was supported by a Secretariat team from the department.

Terms of reference

The panel was tasked with the following terms of reference.

The Review will deliver on the Government’s commitment to Recommendation 30 of the Bradley Review and contribute to the Government’s achievement of its commitment to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage.

The terms of reference of the panel are to provide advice and make recommendations in relation to:

  • achieving parity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, researchers, academic and non-academic staff
  • best practice and opportunities for change inside universities and other higher education providers (spanning both Indigenous specific units and whole-of-university culture, policies, activities, and programs)
  • the effectiveness of existing Commonwealth Government programs that aim to encourage better outcomes for Indigenous Australians in higher education and
  • the recognition and equivalence of Indigenous knowledge in the higher education sector.

The purpose of the Review is the proposal of a strategic framework to enable the Government and the higher education sector to collectively address higher education access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This also aims to ensure equality with the broader community within the sector. The strategic framework will identify key priorities, actions and opportunities for the Government and the higher education sector to consider. The aim of these priorities is to reduce the gaps between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous university students and staff across a range of outcomes.