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Indigenous initiatives

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Meet Indigenous Scholarship Alumna Daijah Martens

Indigenous Program

Channelled through the Nyombil Indigenous Support Centre, the matrix of financial, academic, cultural and personal support tailored specifically for our Indigenous students has seen Bond University achieve on of the highest retention rates in Australia for its students. 

When you make the decision to contribute to Bond University’s Indigenous education programs, you are creating a legacy that is so much bigger than you will ever know. Your investment today will impact on our bright young Indigenous scholars for their entire lives, as they create change and build a better future for Indigenous Australians.   

Currently, Indigenous students comprise less than 2% of the domestic enrolments at Australian universities (Department of Education, 2019) and their rates of completion are significantly lower than the national average.  

However, with less than 5000 students on campus and the lowest student:staff ratio of any university in Australia, Bond University is uniquely placed to provide a personalised and supported educational experience for Indigenous students from across Australia and our student’s success speak for themselves.  

For more information please visit Indigenous Program and Students.

For more information please visit Nyombil Indigenous Support Centre.

Indigenous Gala

The Indigenous Gala is a signature event on the University’s annual calendar. It serves as both a major fundraising exercise and an opportunity to promote Indigenous culture to the wider community.  

Under the patronage of Dr Patrick Corrigan AM, the event is a celebration of Indigenous culture featuring high profile Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and entertainers, as well as past and present Indigenous students. The night also includes a live art auction and silent auction.   

The event attracts over 500 corporate and community attendees from all over Australia and, since 2010, has succeeded in raising almost $2.5 million for scholarships, grants and bursaries.  

For more information please visit Indigenous Gala.

Yarning Up  

Bond University’s commitment to improve education outcomes for Australia’s First Nations people is underpinned by its community outreach.  

Yarning Up is an initiative which involves an annual visit to some of Australia’s most remote Indigenous communities – Lockhart River and Mer Island and Thursday Island - by a group of school Principals and high-profile business people led by Indigenous facilitators and Bond University representatives.  

 In 2016, Bond University was honoured to win the Queensland Premier’s Reconciliation Award for its Yarning Up initiative. This prestigious accolade acknowledges that increasing knowledge around Indigenous education and developing a deeper, more personal understanding of Indigenous culture is vitally important for every educator, corporate leader, school and organisation. It also affirms the University’s belief that there is no better way to gain this knowledge and experience than through a first-hand connection with an Indigenous community.  

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Yarning up 2019.

Corrigan Walk Art Tour

Bond University is home to Australia's largest private collection of Indigenous art on public display.

Tracing the evolution of Indigenous art from the traditional Western Desert Movement to the colourful contemporary styles, the Corrigan Walk is now attracting international acclaim. The unique collection features the works of our most celebrated and revered Indigenous artists including Gloria Petyarre and the late Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Sally Gabori and Tommy Watson.

The collection is named in honour of art patron and collector, Dr Patrick Corrigan AM, who has very generously helped create the Bond University Indigenous and non-Indigenous Art Collection through personal donations, long term loans and facilitating donations from the art community.

The Corrigan Walk Art Tour provides a fascinating insight into these works, highlighting the artists, the dreamtime stories woven into each piece and the history of Indigenous art.

In keeping with Dr Corrigan’s desire to share these artworks with a wide audience and to raise awareness of Australia’s rich indigenous culture, free tours of the Corrigan Collection are available. They are held once a semester for staff, students and the general public.

For further information please contact Liz Fisher on +61 7 5595 1419 or [email protected]. 

Dr Patrick Corrigan AM

"Dr Patrick Corrigan AM is one of Australia’s most prolific art collectors and patrons. His love of Australian art, books, photography, sport and music has manifested as 40 years of philanthropic contributions to regional, state and national institutions.

The generosity has extended to Bond University through Dr Corrigan’s substantial donations, loans and procurement of Indigenous artworks. His patronage of the University’s annual Indigenous Gala, which, since 2010, has raised more than $2.5 million to fund Bond scholarships, grants and bursaries for promising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Born in Central China, Dr Corrigan spent four years of his childhood in a prisoner of war camp after he and his mother were captured in Hong Kong at the outbreak of World War II. When they finally made it to Australia, Patrick finished his schooling at the age of 15 and went to work for the freight division of Unilever.

He went on to establish his own freight forwarding company – Corrigan’s Express – followed by a string of successful business ventures in the freight industry. 

His interest in collecting art emerged in the 1960s when one of his clients introduced him to the art of Lloyd Rees, John Coburn and Pro Hart. Over the years, he amassed an impressive collection but, after seeing a landmark exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2004, he began concentrating on contemporary Indigenous art.

As a collector, Dr Corrigan’s motivation is for these works to be shared. While many collectors prefer to keep their artworks in their homes or even in storage facilities, Dr Corrigan is adamant that his chosen pieces continue to provide enjoyment for a wide audience. Bond University are extremely grateful for his extraordinary generosity and the many other institutions he has donated artworks to.

In 2000, Dr Corrigan was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia medal for “service to the visual arts particularly as a philanthropist to regional galleries and through a grant scheme for artists”. In 2006, he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate by Bond University. Following this, in 2014, he was honoured as one of Queensland’s Greats in recognition of his contributions to Bond University and other Queensland institutions.

  • As custodian of a small but treasured selection of traditional Aboriginal art gathered during 20 years spent in Arnhem Land, NT, I was keen to view the Corrigan Collection at Bond University.
    My opportunity came recently during a tour within the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, where I was astounded, and humbled by what I saw. Outstanding modern paintings of varying styles; filled with vibrant colours yet time-honoured designs telling ancient tales that continue all-important in the lives of the Australian Aboriginal peoples of today.
    Many thanks to Dr Corrigan, and the Aboriginal artists, for generously sharing these enriching cultural works with the wider community.

    Southport, Qld - Donna Mroz Turcic
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