Department of Indigenous Studies

Department of Indigenous Studies

Warawara - Department of Indigenous Studies is an Academic Department located within the Faculty of Arts. Apart from teaching Indigenous studies across the university, Warawara facilitates an alternative entry program aimed at providing access for Indigenous people to undergraduate courses across the University. Our research specialties emphasise Indigenous education and health, Indigenous methodologies, and Aboriginal Astronomy

Warawara also supports students in the  Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Services) offered by Institute of Early Childhood.

In addition to facilitating educational opportunities for Indigenous people, Warawara also offers student support to Indigenous students enrolled across the University.

NOTE: Warawara no longers offers the Bachelor of Community Management program.

Course Information

Latest News

A huge welcome! The Warawara - Department of Indigenous Studies would like to extend a very warm welcome to three new staff members:

  • Associate Professor Shane Hearn - Director of Indigenous Strategy
  • Dr Alice Te Punga Somerville - Senior Lecturer
  • Uncle Lexodious Dadd - Male Elder in Residence

We are very lucky to have all of your expertise added to the Warawara department.

Macquarie opens learning circle for local Indigenous community - A 'learning circle' was unveiled this morning to honour our long-standing relationship with the Darug people, the traditional occupants of the lands on which Macquarie is built, and also to pay respects to the elders both past and present. Read more.

Macquarie University opens learning circle news item image

Warawara Welcomes Dr Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews - Warawara is thrilled to announce that Dr Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews will commence working with us on Monday, 6th January 2014.  Gawaian is a D'hawaral man who joins the department as a Senior Lecturer.  Gawaian's discipline area is educational psychology. He is an outstanding researcher who has had significant success in securing external grant funding including ARC grants.  Warawara staff are looking extremely forward to working with Gawaian into the future. 

Warawara Welcomes New Indigenous Student Support Officer - Emily Sutton - Warawara is extremely pleased to announce that we have appointed Emily Sutton as our new Indigenous Student Support Officer.  Emily begins her position on Monday 23rd September.  She holds a Bachelor of Primary Education degree and is also completing a Master of Indigenous Education degree through Macquarie University. She has significant experience supporting Indigenous Australian students through her former role at Loreto Normanhurst and is extremely passionate about supporting our Indigenous students throughout their studies.  Emily has worked in Warawara as an ITAS tutor and also as a tutor in our ABST100 unit. The team at Warawara are all very excited about Emily joining us and look extremely forward to welcoming her on a more permanent basis. 

The end of an era - Bachelor of Community Management to be taught out -Warawara - Department of Indigenous Studies commenced offering a Diploma of Community Management in 1992.  In 2005 the award was converted to a Bachelor of Community Management.  Between 2006 and 2012 we had a total of 44 Indigenous Australian students graduate with a Bachelor of Community Management degree.  In recent years there was a significant decline in the number of students enrolling in the program, and an even smaller number of students graduating with the degree -19 in 2008, 6 in 2009, 4 in 2010, 6 in 2011 and 2 in 2012.  In 2011 Warawara evaluated the program.  Past BCM graduates and teaching staff provided their important insights into the program.  It was clear that the program was no longer feasible. The department decided to cease offering the program due to a variety of factors - primarily those centring on viability, resources and student numbers. Subsequently there was no first year intake in 2011 which will continue in the years to follow whilst we 'teach out' the degree.  Students currently enrolled in the program will be given the opportunity to complete their qualification provided they can demonstrate reasonable academic progress.  I would like to thank all students and staff involved with the Community Management program. You are all an important part of Warawara's alumni, history and future. We look forward to continuing to offer excellent opportunities for Indigenous students at Macquarie University.

Associate Professor Michelle Trudgett (Head of Department)

Dr TOM CALMA VISITS WARAWARA - Dr Tom Calma spent the morning with staff and students of Warawara before delivering the 2nd Annual Patyegarang Oration held 30th May.  Dr Calma is pictured below with Staff (from L- R) Kylie Flood (Departmental Administrator), Justin Hodges (Student Support Oficer),Dr Tom Calma, A/Prof Michelle Trudgett (Head of Department), A/Prof Susan Page (A/Prof Indigenous Studies), Corrinne Franklin (Associate Lecturer) and Amelia Corr (Commonwealth Programs Officer).

Warawara and Dr Calma

WARAWARA COUNCIL OF ELDERS - The Warawara Council of Elders attended the Patyegarang Oration, delivered by Dr Tom Calma. Pictured below, the members of the Warawara Council of Elders are (from L-R) Aunty Elaine Chapman, Aunty Barbara, Aunty Carol, Aunty Robyn, Aunty Pam, Aunty Lee and Lex Dadd. 

Warawara Council of Eloders

INTRODUCING OUR NEW HEAD OF DEPARTMENT - Warawara is pleased to announce that as of the 2nd January 2013, Associate Professor Michelle Trudgett is now the Head of Warawara - Department of Indigenous Studies. Michelle is an accomplished academic with an international reputation as a leading Indigenous Australian scholar whose research provides considerable insight into the area of Indigenous participation in higher education, with a specific focus on the postgraduate sector. Warawara looks forward to a bright future with Michelle at the helm. Warawara would like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge our previous Head of Department Associate Professor Susan Page. Susan was the Head of Warawara for 5 years and provided valuable leadership, support and guidance to the department, the University and the Higher Education sector at an outstanding level. We are pleased to announce that Susan will continue to work within the department as an Associate Professor, and as an integral part of the Warawara Management Team.

MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY IS PROUD TO BE PART OF THE NEW NATIONAL INDIGENOUS RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGES NETWORK - Dr Michelle Trudgett of Warawara - Department of Indigenous Studies is part of a large team that was successful in securing $3.2 million in funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to establish a National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network.  The network is headed by leading Indigenous academics Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson and Associate Professor Maggie Walter.  Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research made the announcement at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on Monday 5th November 2012, where he stated:

"This new network will help develop much-needed connections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers across the country-and at all career stages-to build Australia's research capacity, expertise and experience,"

Warawara believes that this network will provide a significant contribution to the sector and are proud that Macquarie University is represented through Michelle's involvement in the network.

CONGRATULATIONS A/PROF SUSAN PAGE - DIRECTOR OF NATSIHEC - Staff and students of Warawara would like to congratulate A/Prof Susan Page for her recent election to the inaugural Board of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC). A/Prof Page is joined by Professor Peter Buckskin (Chair), Professor Anita Lee Hong (Deputy Chair) and Ms Leanne Holt (Treasurer), Professor Stanley Nangala, Professor Aileen Morton-Robinson and Professor Boni Robertson as the Directors of the corporation. The announcement came at the recent inaugural Annual General Meeting of the group.  The appointment of A/Prof Page is a tribute to her contribution to the sector over many years. We wish A/Prof Page all the best in her role. 

Alternative Entry 2013 - Warawara has set it's date for our Alternative Entry testing for entry to Macquarie in 2013. Our testing date will be 21 November 2012.Further details will be announced closer to this date.  If you would like to register your interest, please contact Justin Hodges on 02 98504209 or via email on 

ARC SUCCESS!!! - Dr Michelle Trudgett, A/Prof Susan Page, and Dr Neil Harrison were awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant for 2012-2013. The study is titled 'Enhancing the quality of academic supervision provided to Indigenous Australian doctoral students'. This project will undertake a detailed investigation into the supervision provided to Indigenous Australians who now hold a doctoral qualification in order to identify successful supervision strategies. A best-practice model for the supervision of Indigenous doctoral students will be constructed as a resource for all academics. Michelle and Susan are particularly excited by this news and the positive impact this research can have on Warawara and the wider Macquarie University community.

CONGRATULATIONS TO CORRINNE FRANKLIN!!! - Corinne submitted her Honours thesis titled 'Moral Linen: Indigenous and non-Indigenous inmate experiences of dress in Parramatta Girls Home' on 31 October 2011. Corrinne was recently awarded the Sally White - Dianne Barwick Award. Excellent work Corrinne!
2011 saw the graduation of a number of Indigenous students from both Block mode as well as 'mainstream' programs.


(Click here for more photos)