Dear Editors and Readers of Honi,
I refer to the article printed on the front page of Honi Soit in week 5 of this semester. It has come to my understanding that some of the information printed was not factual, nor up to date.
Let me be clear about a few things. This article was written long before this semester starting. Since then I have found that the university has in fact not had a decrease in Indigenous enrollment as stated in the article. There has also been a misunderstanding of what the article was directed to. To make it very clear, I was not at all criticizing the work of the Indigenous Support Team. They do a fantastic job in maintaining connections with the Indigenous students.
I, personally, apologise for any misinterpretation for the article produced and hope to make it clear, once again, that this is an article which was written in a passionate moment when I was discontent with the managing of the Indigenous student body. It should also be noted that this article was an opinion piece and therefore should not be taken to represent the entire view of the Indigenous student body. Certain aspects of the article have changed since it was first written.
To make it clear, the University has actually increased its enrollments of Indigenous students and have propelled a consistent upward trajectory as a result of the Wingara Mura strategy. In the time this article has been published in Honi Soit, the University has taken measures to ensure that support staff are located in the student spaces of the Koori Centre for three days of the week. With their main officers in a different location to us, there is also a rare time when we cannot give them a call or go up and talk to them in person. I would never insult the work they do because I have personally benefited from it first hand.
To focus on the positive characteristics of the student experience in the Koori Centre at the University of Sydney, there is no doubt that there is a strong bond between the students from the beginning of each semester. The support staff have always encouraged the involvement of new students as well as old with an unconditional support in what each student wishes to achieve whilst at university. Since the previous article has been written, to my understanding, the University has also employed an extra five support staff to assist with building connections between students and staff and organizing tutors for each student. The article also looks over some of the extra support the Indigenous student body receives such as funding for the Indigenous Games each year and Access Cards to all first year students. This happens as a result of the work from the Indigenous Support Team.
Once again, I would like to express my sincere apology to the University of Sydney’s Indigenous Support Team and also apologise for any inconvenience or hurt caused by the previous article.