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Reconciliation Action Plan

Our Commitment

At The Gordon our vision is for a community where First Peoples participate equally and equitably in all aspects of life. The Reconciliation Action Plan has received strong commitment at all levels across the institute.

Our Reconciliation Action goals for 2022/23 towards the creation of an Innovate RAP include:

Community Engagement

  • Building relationships and a strong network of trusted partnerships between Community Leaders, Community groups and allies in our region


  • Celebrating significant dates through student-led activities and events supported by the Kitjarra wurrun-ngeen (First Peoples Education Support) team

  • New funded courses for First People with advisory from First Peoples Working Groups

Cultural Awareness

  • A tiered professional development model for staff to support greater cultural awareness

Additional actions have been around creating respectful and welcoming spaces.


2020-2022 Reflect Rap



image of wurreker awards recipients


The Gordon is committed to helping First Peoples students achieve their full potential in education, training and employment.

  • The First Peoples Education Support team at the Kitjarra Wurrun-Ngeen Centre offer support, mentoring and referral to more than 200 students, helping them achieve their full potential in education, training and employment. The team's outreach activities and relationships with families and communities have also contributed to a consistent rise in First Peoples student enrolments.
  • A partnership with the Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre supports the Kitjarra team's First Peoples Education Model learning principles  and practices. This includes support for significant events, community meetings, student award ceremonies and community Elders’ engagement.
  • Additional support is provided through individual consultations with Learning Support, Library, Student Counselling and Skills & Jobs through the Reconnect program.
  • New scholarships for First Peoples students will be offered by community benefactors in 2024.
  • In 2023, The Gordon received the Innovative Koorie Learner Pathways Award at the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated Awards.

Additional funded initiatives include:

  • Indigenous Culinary School, designed to upskill First Peoples community through a contextualised, culturally appropriate Certificate III in Cookery program
  • Certificate II, Mumgu-dhal tyama-tiyt at Cherry Creek Youth Justice Centre
  • Upskilling Aboriginal Managers, a project designed to equip Geelong First Peoples organisations with confident leaders and managers
  • First Peoples TAE, a contextualised, culturally appropriate course specifically for First Peoples students to improve the ability to attract and employ First Peoples into teaching roles

Find out more


Image of artwork - Bundjil's blessing

Image attribution: Artist Dr. Leanne Gilson: Bundjil's Blessing. Ochre, acrylic
on linen, 150cm (w) x 120cm (h), 2022.


Community Engagement

Building relationships and a strong network of trusted partnerships between The Gordon and First Peoples Community Leaders and other  local organisations that support Reconciliation actions across the region are critical elements within our RAP. In 2023 we:

  • expanded The Gordon’s Aboriginal Education Advisory Group (AEAG) membership, with representation from Wathaurong Cooperative, Deakin University Department of Justice, Department of Education & Training, Secondary Schools and Gforce.
  • hosted the Enhancing Reconciliation through Regional Collaboration event at The Davidson Restaurant, over a three course meal highlighting a menu of Indigenous ingredients. The event was attended by over 50 senior leaders from across the Greater Geelong area, Surf Coast, and Golden Plains Councils that has paved the way for the formation of a continuing regional Community of Practice with First Peoples leaders and Allies.
  • increased First Peoples business enterprises on The Gordon's preferred supplier list
  • hosted the Geelong Koorie Aspirations Day in collaboration with the Geelong Tech School, the LAECG, Polly Farmer Foundation and other corporate sponsors. Young school aged students engaged in campus-based activities and presentations focussing on future STEM employment skills. Students attended for 2 days of confidence building, future casting, and cultural knowledge development.


Cultural Awareness

The Gordon has developed a tiered learning model aligned that supports building cultural awareness across the organisation:

  • Compulsory online training for staff, to be introduced by end 2023 will establish a baseline for all staff (and students) to build greater cultural awareness, and to learn about unconscious bias and truth telling (Tier 0)
  • Facilitated training sessions by First Peoples educators and consultants including immersive small-group tours On Country with Wadawurrung Traditional Owner, Corrina Eccles (Tier 1)
  • Enhanced learning and collaboration with the Kitjarra (Aboriginal Education Support) team to improve curriculum and assessment in specific units relating to the promotion of First Peoples cultural safety

First Peoples Employment

As part of The Gordon’s Employment Strategy, we are actively working to increase numbers of First Peoples (identified) employees. Over a 12 month period in 2023, this increased from 1% to 2% of the total workforce.

We recognise the importance of developing employability skills of First Peoples:

  • encouraging secondment and short-term contract opportunities for First Peoples employees made possible through an Aboriginal Community Engagement Grant
  • offering Traineeship programs between the Kitjarra Centre, Gforce and Wan-Yaari support First Peoples who are transitioning from the justice system

Find out more


Image of aboriginal artwork hands and flag



We are honoured to display stunning artwork created by First Peoples artists including:

  • a creation story painting by Wadawurrung artist, Deanne Gilson on permanent display inside the Kitjarra Centre
  • artwork by Gerard Black, Worimi man who grew up on Wadawarrung country, depicting the Bunjil creation story accompanied by Augmented Reality addressing the creation story through storytelling by Traditional Owners on display on the external wall of the Kitjarra Centre

Kitjarra Centre

Central gathering points are available at Geelong City and East campus for First Peoples students and community. Students and community are also welcome to drop in for a yarn and use the kitchen and study facilities.

Indigenous Art Garden

A collaborative Art Garden is being established at Geelong East campus. The garden will create a sense of place that honours traditional knowledges and creates cultural awareness for students and staff. The garden includes

  • relocated artwork by respected Wadawurrung elder, Aunty Donna Sinclair
  • First Peoples flags
  • a beautiful established eucalyptus tree, Indigenous plants and seating


Our Library collection continues to expand with the acquisition of titles by First Peoples authors and researchers, which are prominently displayed at both libraries in welcoming First Peoples spaces. The Wadawurrung Language App is also a permanent, well used feature at both Libraries.


Codesigned activities

Enabling confidence in students to co-design and co-lead activations for significant dates such as National Reconciliation Week (NRW) and NAIDOC Week is core business for the team at the Kitjarra centre. The events are supported by the Kitjarra team and are well attended by staff and students.

A collaborative ‘hands’ artwork created during a student-led event for National Reconciliation Week is now on display in the City campus library above the distinctly First Peoples collection of literature and research.