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Indigenous Community at Bond timeline

1989 -1991

1989: Bond University opens on the ancestral lands of the people of the Yugumbeh language. September.

1992 – 2009

1992: Marcia Sullivan becomes the first Aboriginal student to graduate from Bond University. She had discovered an interest in the law while working as a clerk in Cloncurry and studied Law at Bond as a mature-age student. She currently works as a lawyer for Legal Aid Queensland, travelling to remote regions and practising in family law, domestic violence, child protection and victims of crime matters. 

1992: Dr Patrick Corrigan AM begins donating and loaning Indigenous artworks to Bond University to create Australia’s largest private collection of Indigenous artwork on public display. 


2010 – 2011

2010: Bond University holds its first Indigenous Gala which celebrates culture and raises funds, scholarships, grants and bursaries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

2010: Indigenous scholarship student Ricky Macourt founds the Bond Indigenous Awareness Society and an annual social justice trip to Abergowrie in North Queensland. He goes on to work for the Department of Foreign Affairs at Australian Permanent Missions to the UN and New York, at the Australian embassy in Indonesia, and is currently Senior Manager of Indigenous Engagement at Westpac. 


The university opens the Nyombil Centre where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can study, socialise, and network with other Indigenous students and seek advice from staff.


Thanks to the generosity of Dr Patrick Corrigan AM, the university’s Indigenous art collection expands to a point where the university launches the Corrigan Walk, a guided tour of artworks by some of the most celebrated and revered Indigenous artists including Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Sally Gabori, Tommy Watson and Gloria Petyarre.

2014 – 2016

2014: Lockhart River in Far North Queensland hosts Bond’s first Yarning Up trip. Yarning Up, now an annual tradition, takes corporate leaders and educators to Indigenous communities to promote understanding of Indigenous cultures and identify business and education opportunities.


January 2017: The university records its highest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments – 70.

April 2017: Gold Coast Aboriginal Elder Aunty Joyce Summers is named a Bond University Fellow in recognition of her commitment to community and education, particularly the establishment of the Nyombil Centre.

October 2017: The highest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students complete programs in one year – 31. 

August 2017: The Bond University Indigenous Consultative Committee is formed and meets for the first time. 


February 2018: The Inaugural Bond University Indigenous Education and Workforce Strategy is published.

May 2018: The Indigenous Staff Network is formed.


July 2019: The Bond University Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan is officially endorsed.

November 2019: The 10th Indigenous Gala is held. Corporate donors and other guests have raised more than $2 million over a decade.


February 2020: The 150th Bond University program will be completed by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student since the opening of the Nyombil Centre.