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CIT Celebrates New Reconciliation Action Plan

Published: 27 Oct 2016

Image: CIT 2016/17 Aboriginal Student Ambassador Ethan Taylor, CIT CEO Leanne Cover, CIT Yurauna Centre Director Caroline Hughes, Ngunnawal Senior Elder Auntie Agnes.

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) launched its 2016-19 'Stretch' Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) last week at a vibrant ceremony during its NAIDOC Week celebrations.

The colorful ceremony at CIT Reid drew a good crowd, eager to get involved in painting, snack on emu and kangaroo sausages and happily show their respect for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

It brought together CIT students, teachers, staff and members of the Canberra community to honor the local Ngunnawal traditional owners and to recognise CIT's commitment to building even stronger ties with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country through education and training.

"CIT is very proud to have a thriving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, that's nurtured through its dedicated CIT Yurauna Centre," CIT CEO Leanne Cover told the crowd.

Proof of CIT Yurauna Centre's success is the strong Aboriginal student participation at CIT - about 900 students were enrolled this year, a 75% increase since 2010. Ms Cover said CIT's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students' qualification levels have also been increasing with more enrolments in diplomas, advanced diplomas and degree courses.

CIT 2016/17 Aboriginal Ambassador Ethan Taylor spoke of his passion for advocating for his community and determination to make his mark in Australia politics. Ethan, a Warumungu man from the NT, is enrolled in CIT's Certificate IV in Leadership and Management while also studying and psychology and mathematics part-time at university.

CIT's Aboriginal Ambassador Program was created as part of the 2014-16 RAP and has provided invaluable support to Indigenous students.

A highlight of the day was a smoking ceremony, a first for CIT Reid. Senior Ngunnawal Elder Auntie Agnes' opening welcomed all to Ngunnawal country. Chair of the ACT's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Ross Fowler reminded all that education was a key to reaching one's life goals.

CIT has been a leading advocate for reconciliation since it became one of the first ACT government agencies to release a Reconciliation Statement in 2002. The commitment was strengthened in 2012 when CIT became one of Australia's first vocational education institutions to adopt a RAP.

By adopting the Stretch RAP the CIT Board committed to another three years of accelerated action to further build relationships, respect and opportunities for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and wider community.

"This week CIT takes another step in its journey to help achieve genuine reconciliation with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through decisive, positive action," Ms Cover said.