University under fire over Aboriginal studies appointees

Australia’s University of Melbourne has come under fire for appointing non-Indigenous academics to senior roles focused on Aboriginal studies, at the same time as acknowledging it is “ill-equipped” to handle allegations of institutional racism, writes Caitlin Cassidy for The Guardian Australia.

The fresh criticism follows the resignation of Dr Eddie Cubillo – a Larrakia, Wadjigan and Central Arrernte man – from his role as part-time associate dean and senior fellow at the university’s prestigious Melbourne Law School. Cubillo continues to lead the university’s Indigenous Law and Justice Hub but alleged the law school was “the most culturally unsafe place” he’d worked.

In an email sent to staff last week, the deputy vice-chancellor (Indigenous), Barry Judd, said Cubillo’s experiences showed current processes were “ill-equipped” to deal with “the complex issues raised by allegations of racism in the workplace”. A petition calling for the better treatment of First Nations staff and students at the law school has attracted more than 1,200 signatures – including from dozens of leading academics.
Full report on The Guardian Australia site