This weekend senior staff and volunteers from the University of Melbourne will participate in the Garma Festival in Arnhem Land where there will be an important dialogue on the status of Australia’s Constitutional reform.

The University welcomes the opportunity to engage in the dialogue and supports the work of the Referendum Council and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their journey to secure the rightful place for Australia’s first people. This message of support follows on from a message to the University from Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis, where he commended the Uluru Statement from the Heart to the University Community.

The University of Melbourne entered a formal partnership with the Yothu Yindi Foundation in 2015 and this year will sponsor the Key Forum at the festival. Associate Provost Professor Marcia Langton will again facilitate the Key Forum, a role she has performed for over a decade.

University of Melbourne Provost Professor Margaret Sheil said in addition to Professor Langton and herself, the University group will include Professor Shaun Ewen, newly appointed Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous), the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey and academics and students from across the University.

Professor Sheil said “The Key Forum provides an excellent opportunity to understand the perspectives of an outstanding group of indigenous political leaders and educators. This will be the fourth time I have visited Garma and I can attest that It is a transformative experience for those who attend.”

The Key Forum will be opened by the Chair of the Yothu Yindi Foundation, Gumatj leader Gulurruwuy Yunipingu who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Melbourne in 2015.