Sydney Law School connects with local Aboriginal history

12 November 2020
Discovering the history on Sydney Law School's doorstep
Sydney Law School staff and students went on a guided journey of discovery into local Aboriginal history and culture.

This week, Sydney Law School, and Australia, celebrates NAIDOC Week. It is a fitting time to talk about the rich Aboriginal history that surrounds Sydney Law School and how it will shape our future.

The University of Sydney sits on land that is immersed in the deep history of Aboriginal people. The campus is located on the land of the Gadigal of the Eora Nation. Neighbouring suburb, Redfern, has long been considered "the epicentre of Aboriginal activism", and continues to "play a role in Aboriginal people's connection to their identity." - Redfern, Then and Now flyer.

There is significant history at Sydney Law School’s doorstep.

Redfern, Then and Now

The Law School recently organised an Aboriginal history walking tour for staff and students, which provided the opportunity to connect with, and learn more about, the history of our local community and area.

The tour, Redfern, Then and Now, focussed on the social and political history of the Redfern area, providing insight into the area where we spend our time educating and learning.

Senior local cultural representative, Aunty Donna Ingram, a Wiradjuri woman who was born and raised on Gadigal land in Sydney, guided staff and students through the streets and laneways of Redfern, sharing her depth of knowledge and experience. This immersion experience allowed staff and students to gain a significant perspective into the deep-rooted local Aboriginal history.

Senior local cultural representative, Aunty Donna Ingram, guided three groups of students and staff on an amazing walking tour of Redfern, allowing us to connect with local history of community, and learn more of this place in which we meet, share and learn.
Dean and Head of Sydney Law School, and Associate Dean of Indigenous Strategy and Services, Prof Simon Bronitt

An embedded Indigenous strategy

Sydney Law School has long committed to striving for a more diverse and inclusive culture for our staff and student body. Sydney Law School’s new 2020-25 strategy, Reimagining Sydney Law School, has an embedded Indigenous strategy that sets out our vision and mission to attract, support and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff.

“The School will embed the voice of First Nations through our Indigenous Strategy in all areas of work, ensuring the self-determination and engagement of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and students is a defining feature of our future. The School will celebrate our First Nations cultures in our built environment, research and educational programs, and engagement strategies. More effective dialogue with and representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities will be a priority.” – Sydney Law School Strategy 2020-25, Reimagining Sydney Law School.

Our new strategy has our “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and students as a defining feature of our future.” How does Sydney Law School plan to achieve this ambitious vision? By “seeing, hearing and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country.”

Through effective dialogue, more representation, continued learning, and deep understanding of this country’s expansive history, we are committed to creating opportunity, making an impact, and achieving our objective of placing the First Nations People as a defining feature of our future.

As a world-leading educational institution, Sydney Law School takes pride in creating a rounded learning experience for our students and staff, and providing learning opportunities for deeper understanding of the ancestors of this country. 

Learn more about the Chau Chuk Wing Museum, the first museum built on Gadigal land with Gadigal input (watch YouTube video).

Read more about Sydney Law School’s 2020-25 strategy, Reimagining Sydney Law School.

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