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Ormond College Indigenous Program (OCIP)

The OCIP aims to increase the proportion of Indigenous students successfully completing their tertiary study, focussing on retention by offering a supportive residential community experience and additional academic support.


The OCIP seeks to address the disparities in the recruitment, retention and successful completion of tertiary studies among Indigenous people.  While the OCIP provides academic, pastoral and financial support for our Indigenous students, it also importantly includes a number of initiatives and activities aimed at all Ormond students and staff. The initiatives include, but are not limited to:

  • Frequent Indigenous seminars (as a component of the Ormond Academic depth Program);

  •  Visiting Indigenous speakers, including writers, artists and historians;

  •  College debates on Indigenous issues

  • Pastoral, economic, and academic support on an individual basis for our Indigenous students

  • Recognition of Indigenous Australia though the flying of the Aboriginal flag on designated national and local days of importance.

  • Community experiences that include student participation in the AIME program, involvement in local community activities and attendance at Garma and Bawaka. Each year the College provides the opportunity for ten students to attend the Garma Festival at Gulkula, North East Arnhem Land, and stay with an Indigenous community at Bawaka.

Ormond's support program for these students includes a mentor, tutors, and a college-wide Indigenous Program designed to:

  • develop an enhanced understanding of, and respect for, Indigenous culture, history and current issues amongst the Ormond community

  • provide an environment that actively supports and creates educational opportunities for Indigenous students at Ormond

  • promote the active engagement of reconciliation principles and practice amongst at Ormond

 Our 18 current Indigenous students come from right across Australia, ranging from close by in Reservoir to Bairnsdale, Fitzroy Crossing, Parkes in NSW and Broome. There are ten 1st year students, five 2nd year and two 3rd year, ranging from Science, Arts and Environments. We also have a 2nd year graduate undertaking his PhD in medical anthropology at the Faculty of Medicine.



OCIP Outcomes

Over the past four years, 12 Indigenous students, on average have been resident at Ormond College:

  • Most have been enrolled in the BA (Extended), and recently several have enrolled in the new Science (Extended)

  • Others have enrolled in Mainstream University programs

  • One student successfully transferred from the BA (Extended) to a mainstream Commerce degree

One of our students has completed a successful exchange program to Canada; another student transferred to Griffith University for a semester, but has now returned to the University of Melbourne to complete his degree; one student is doing his honours at Deakin University.  All students have participated in the life at Ormond undertaking leadership roles and representing the College and the University in various sporting and cultural activities. 

The College works closely with the Murrup Barak and the University to monitor students' progress and adjusts the academic and pastoral care support program accordingly.

Led by students and our Freemantle Fellow (who manages and coordinates the OCIP), the College has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan, (RAP) which includes the following commitments:

  • Freemantle Fellow, the Master of the College and returning Indigenous student present the RAP to all incoming students during orientation period. Aboriginal elder conducts leaf burning ceremony

  • Cultural diversity dinner each year that fosters open story sharing

  • Involvement in the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), where Ormond students mentor Indigenous students

  • Intercollegiate meeting with Freemantle Fellow and Indigenous liaison student once per semester

  • Indigenous students visiting schools who have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

  • The Garma/Bawaka experience

  • At least 1 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff member

  • Meet at least twice per semester to track progress of RAP

  • Report once each semester to the College Executive and student body on progress against commitments

  • Celebrate Sorry Day, Mabo Day and NAIDOC Week

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