Award for Excellence and Innovation in Indigenous Higher Education

Recognising excellence and innovation in the development of curriculum and higher education programs where the subject matter relates to Indigenous Australians.

For the purposes of this award, Indigenous higher education is a broad concept that embraces:

  • curricula and programs for Indigenous students; and
  • curricula and programs for non-Indigenous students, where the subject matter relates to Indigenous Australians.

The activities described may include those within a particular faculty or course; and/or across the University; and/or reaching beyond the University in terms of community engagement. Examples could therefore include teaching Indigenous students; teaching Indigenous Studies; embedding projects about Indigenous development in other curricula; or preparing students to work with Indigenous communities.

Award recipients are acknowledged for their outstanding achievements across the various dimensions of teaching excellence: the inspiration and motivation they provide students; their contribution to the development of curricula and teaching and learning resources; high quality practice in assessment of student learning; their respect for students as individuals; and the various ways in which their scholarly activities have influenced and enhanced learning and teaching.

The award includes a trophy and a grant of $10,000. An end-of-year award ceremony is held to acknowledge and celebrate recipients’ success in all University of Melbourne Awards for Excellence.

How to apply

Honour Roll

  • 2015

    Melbourne  Dental School's Indigenous Oral Health Placement

    (Project lead, Associate Professor Menaka Abuzar)
    Faculty of  MDHS

    For the ‘Indigenous oral health outreach placement’ for students at the  Aboriginal Health Centre in Mooroopna, Victoria since 2007.

  • 2014

    Professor Ian Williamson and Dr Michelle Evans

    For the development and implementation of the MURRA Indigenous Master Class Program. This innovative program aims to enhance Indigenous economic outcomes by supporting the development of successful Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs.

  • 2013

    Dr Wayne Atkinson

    School of Social & Political Science

    Faculty of Arts

    Dr Wayne Atkinson, Yorta Yorta elder and Senior Fellow, has taught Indigenous Studies and the related disciplines of Archaeology, History, Politics, and Legal Studies, for 40 years. His specialist course, Oncountry Learning is a highly original and exceptional program that has received exceptional student survey results. Created in 2003, it is taught as a community-based course that embraces the key concepts of experiential and transformative learning. This teaching method combines academic studies with the more tangible learning that students gain from visiting the sites and places that reflect the past history of Indigenous occupation. The quality of learning is further enhanced by local Indigenous knowledge of more recent events that have shaped Indigenous identity and aspirations.  The teaching and mentoring that Oncountry provides have resulted in University of Melbourne graduates contributing to Indigenous development in the areas of cultural and environmental protection, education, politics, law, health, engineering, media and the arts.

  • 2012

    The Bower Studio

    Dr David O’Brien

    Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

  • 2011

    Leaders in Medical Education (LIME) Network Project

    Shaun Ewen, Odette Mazel,  Caitlin Ryan, Erin Nicholls

    Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences