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Confirmation of Aboriginality and Torres Strait Islander Identity Rule

Section 1 - Overview

(1)  This Rule describes the evidence required if an individual needs to establish that they are an Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander person for the purpose of accessing designated programs, services or opportunities for Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) This Rule will apply to all individuals seeking to access programs, services or opportunities available at the University of New England.  This includes employment opportunities, student services, representation on internal committees and programs, and representation on behalf of the University externally.  It will provide a means to establish Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander status for these purposes.

(3) The Rule will be retrospective and apply to all current recipients of access to programs, services or opportunities available at the University of New England.

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Section 3 - Rule

(4) Persons seeking to gain access to programs, services or opportunities specifically for Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander peoples at or on behalf of the University of New England are required to confirm their status as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person through the provision of evidence demonstrating that they meet the following criteria:

  1. That they are of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander descent; and
  2. That they identify as an Australian Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander person;and
  3. That they are accepted as such by the community in which they live or have lived.

(5) The documentary evidence which addresses the above criteria needs to be a statutory declaration which must state that he or she is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.  The declaration must describe how you personally meet the above three criteria, and the declaration must be supported with either (a) or (b) below:

  1. A letter of confirmation of Aboriginality stamped with the common seal and signed by the chairperson of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community-controlled, not-for-profit organisation; OR
  2. A letter of confirmation of Aboriginality stamped with a common seal and signed by the chairperson of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Lands Council, in whose area the applicant lives or has lived.

(6) Proof of receipt of Abstudy will not be accepted as confirmation.

(7) Documentary evidence provided by the applicant shall be assessed by the relevant panel or responsible officer.

(8) The panel or responsible officer may seek the assistance of the Senior HR Consultant (Aboriginal Employment) or Oorala Aboriginal Centre if it is determined that further verification is required or uncertainly exists.

Authority and Compliance

(9) The Vice-Chancellor, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act, makes this University Rule.

(10) University Representatives and Students (delete where applicable) must observe it in relation to University matters.

(11) The Rule Administrator is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this University Rule.  The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(12) This Rule operates as and from the Effective Date. 

(13) Previous University policy documents relating to the confirmation of Aboriginality and Torres Strait identity are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Rule.

(14) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Rule, the Vice-Chancellor may approve an exception to this Rule where the Vice-Chancellor determines the application of the Rule would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome.  Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception. 

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Section 4 - Definitions

(15) A definition of Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person is – Being an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, who is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, and identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is known and accepted as such by the community in which they liver or have lived.

(16) Effective Date means - takes effect on the day on which it is published or on such later day as may be specified in the Rule. 

(17) University Representative means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent) contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University.  It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories

(18) Student means an Admitted Student or an Enrolled Student, at the relevant time.

  1. Admitted student means a student who has been admitted to a UNE course of study and who is entitled to enrol in a unit of study or who has completed all of the units in the UNE course of study.
  2. Enrolled student means a student who is enrolled in a unit of study at UNE.

(19) UNE Act means the University of New England Act 1993 No 68 (NSW).