One of the less remarked-on sections of the Bradley report claimed that
it is critical that Indigenous knowledge is recognised as an important, unique element of higher education, contributing economic productivity by equipping graduates with the capacity to work across Australian society and in particular with Indigenous communities.
Arguments for incorporation of Indigenous knowledge go beyond the provision of Indigenous-specific courses to embedding Indigenous cultural competency into the curriculum to ensure that all graduates have a good understanding of Indigenous culture.
As this was a ‘finding’ rather than a ‘recommendation’, most readers were probably content to take it as a necessary, but empty, gesture to the hurt felt by the Indigenous Australians. After all, only a tiny proportion of graduates will ever work in contexts where knowledge of Indigenous people – let alone ‘Indigenous knowledge’ – will be useful, and it would be far more efficient to pick it up as needed than to build it into unrelated courses.
But now the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council is, according to the SMH, taking it a step further and proposing that
ALL university students and staff will be required to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture under proposals to be considered by the Federal Government.