Indigenising curriculum in business education

Annette Gainsford, Michelle Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2015 Charles Sturt University (CSU) launched its Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage. In the same year CSU recorded one of the highest proportions of enrolled Indigenous students at an Australian University, and led the sector in Indigenous staff numbers. It was also the year that CSU adopted the Wiradjuri phrase Yindyamarra Winhanga-nha, meaning ‘the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in’. This phrase represents Wiradjuri cultural values pertaining to the relational development of knowledge - knowledge that is put to work for the betterment of others, learning that is grown through working and walking alongside others in communities. Indigenous education has been a long-standing core business of Charles Sturt University; however in the past few years there has been a shift in becoming serious about the institutional commitment to Indigenous leadership through partnership with Elders, communities and individual staff members. This paper focuses upon CSU’s embedding Indigenous curriculum strategy as a site for understanding why Indigenous leadership is crucial to moving institutional commitments forward. The task of embedding Indigenous content into established western discipline curriculum, taught almost exclusively by non-Indigenous academics, requires grounded Indigenous leadership upheld by the institution and individual academic collaborators. Ranzijn et al (2008) outline five main inhibitors to developing culturally engaged curriculum – lack of institutional commitment; dependence on individual discretionary effort and goodwill; assuming that Indigenous departments in Universities will do the work; lack of engagement and/or commitment by academic staff; and lack of well-articulated and designed curriculum (7). At CSU Indigenising the curriculum is an institutional commitment, however this institutional influence alone is not sufficient to achieve the level of cultural change required to achieve the mandated commitment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Australian Indigenous Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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