Racist education cuts in NT

December 1, 1999

By Zanny Begg

On November 23, staff from the Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STUDIES (FATSIS) received letters from the Northern Territory University stating that their jobs had been "disestablished".

These redundancies are a result of a review of the department and of indigenous education. The review recommended that special programs for indigenous students developed by FATSIS over the last 10 years were a "wasteful duplication".

The student union has indicated that it "wholeheartedly disagrees" with these recommendations. Its education vice-president, Tracey Johnson, issued a statement which explained that FATSIS was designed to "introduce indigenous students to tertiary education in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways" and that the university decision would undermine the "principle of self-determination that FATSIS sought to engender".

The student union has called a rally for December 3 to protest against these cuts. Johnson is asking people to write letters of condemnation to Ron McKay, vice-chancellor, Northern Territory University, Darwin NT 0909.

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