Murdoch enabling program receives national award for teaching

December 15, 2017

Nation's best: Braden Hill (rear) celebrates the national award with K-Track educators Dr Rebecca Bennett, Dr Karin Strehlow and Sian Bennett

Murdoch University’s K-Track Indigenous Enabling Program has received a prestigious Award for Programs that Enhance Learning at a government ceremony in Melbourne on Thursday evening.

The national recognition came at the 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching announced by the Federal Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham.

Senator Birmingham said the range of programs acknowledged this year, including the K-Track Indigenous Enabling Program, have set a benchmark for ongoing learning and teaching activities in Australian higher education.

The Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre’s 14 week K-Track Enabling Program is an innovative pathway for Indigenous students to gain entry to Murdoch University's courses. The pathway provides realistic and achievable options for those who have not attained a direct ATAR entry into university.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Education Romy Lawson said the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre’s enabling pathway embraces a holistic approach that underpins both the University’s curriculum and teaching practice.

“The K-Track Program differs significantly from other Indigenous enabling programs I have seen in that it successfully encourages students to see engagement with higher education as a site of transformation and opportunity where Indigenous students can not only belong, but can also thrive,” Professor Lawson said.

“K-Track takes a whole of university approach to learning and teaching and the student experience. Students are exposed to a range of disciplines to provide a tangible experience of what studying at the undergraduate level could mean.

“The K-Track Program is at the heart of the Murdoch’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities and, importantly, empowers Indigenous students to achieve their educational and career aspirations.”

Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre Manager, Braden Hill said the K-Track Program is a great example of the wonderful results academics and professional staff can achieve by working together to enhance student learning.

“Since 2012, many members of the university community, government and industry have been involved in the development of the K-Track course. This has seen K-Track become an incredibly successful enabling program and a platform of success for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students,” he said.

“This award is significant as it is national recognition of the leadership Indigenous centres can have in relation to curriculum development, pedagogy and student support.

“We at Kulbardi are very proud to receive this award on behalf our students and our respective communities.”

Professor Lawson said the reputation of the K-Track Program is proving a significant factor in prospective students’ decisions to study at Murdoch University. A recent Indigenous Student Experience Survey revealed 57 per cent of respondents indicated they had gained entry to university studies via an enabling program – most of which were graduates of the K-Track Program.

To find out more about the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre and its K-Track Enabling Program, click here.

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