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Service Learning in Indigenous Communities

Our Service Learning in Indigenous Communities program provides exciting interdisciplinary opportunities to listen, learn and apply your knowledge to help address priority challenges with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

What is Service Learning?

Service Learning draws together genuine community aspiration with the planning and provision of services. It fosters meaningful connections between people and place. The program centres around listening and sharing knowledge for mutually beneficial outcomes.

The Service Learning in Indigenous Communities (SLIC) program allows you to work on essential projects co-designed and directed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. As a participant in the program, you will be able to extend your cultural competency. 

Working directly with leading voices of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the SLIC program is a model for what is possible through open dialogue and cooperation.

What's involved 

The SLIC program provides credit towards your degree, as an elective unit of study. You’ll work on real-world projects that have been prioritised and identified by Indigenous communities and apply your academic perspective, while gaining valuable experience working across disciplinary boundaries.

Ideal candidates will have strong communication skills and an interest in Indigenous issues.

As part of the SLIC program, you’ll:

  • deepen your understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's history, values and perspectives
  • develop skills in working in strengths-based, culturally competent and empowering ways as you plan, prepare and engage with your community
  • learn about the community with the community
  • design interviews with cultural sensitivity
  • engage with, and visit where possible, a host community for up to 10 days 
  • attend a pre-semester intensive plus a 2 hour lecture and a 2 hour tutorial weekly during semester 
  • submit individual and collaborative assessments. 

Benefits of the program

Service Learning in Indigenous Communities is a flagship project of the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Services, and extends the University’s commitment to embedding Aboriginal world views beyond the boundaries of the University campus.

In this program, you will gain an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being, knowing, and doing, through active listening and challenging your assumptions about the compartmentalisation of knowledge.

As each project is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, you will be actively engaged in an authentic process of collaboration.

“Our group varies across a huge number of disciplines from linguistics to media to philosophy to law (even students who are on exchange) and beyond, all brought together with a common passion to learn more about Indigenous Australia. Even though we are working remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions we were still given the great honour of working with some amazing local Indigenous community organisations, guided by truly passionate academics, on some really important real-world projects throughout the semester. So if you’re a little bit hesitant about the application process, my biggest advice would be - apply anyway for a truly valuable experience!”

- Genevieve Neich, undergraduate student

Watch this video to hear from students who participated in the Semester 1, 2021 SLIC program about what SLIC is like. 


You are eligible to apply if: 

  • you are a third-year student or above 
  • you have room in your course to undertake the unit. Do a pre-check on your eligibility before applying.

Before your enrolment is finalised, a formal process to gain departmental permission will be carried out.

If you think that you may be interested and would like more information, email

How to apply

In order to apply, you will need to email an expression of interest containing the following to

  • your CV and academic transcript
  • name of two referees
  • a one-page statement detailing the reasons why you’re interested in being part of the program.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and successful applicants will be invited to take part in the program.

Last updated: 18 June 2021

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