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Universities fail to support Indigenous students

Most staff at Australian universities have “little understanding” of cultural obligations and family pressures affecting Indigenous students, according to the organiser of a national education conference in Canberra.

University of Melbourne politics student Ethan Taylor said that tutors and administrative staff were unaware of the cultural complexities involved in “sorry business” (family funerals and community grieving) and smoking ceremonies conducted by elders.

Taylor, an 18-year-old Warumungu student from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, organised Australia’s first national Indigenous student conference in Canberra on 6 July.

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