Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

Queensland has the second largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia with several thousand Indigenous people living in Toowoomba and the surrounding districts. The Indigenous community includes Traditional Owners and Indigenous people from throughout Queensland, the Torres Strait and Australia. 

USQ strives to improve higher education and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians. The USQ Reconciliation Action Plan: Walking Together commits USQ to a range of actions and goals in support of securing unity between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

Our Centre for Indigenous Studies, Education and Research (CISER) is dedicated to encouraging and assisting our Indigenous students through their learning journey. Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Strategy (PDF 502KB) also demonstrates our commitment to producing significant research which focuses on working with regional communities to develop shared narratives – past, present and future. 

To assist in promoting the Indigenous culture and encouraging the further education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we support a number of specialised Indigenous programs, education initiatives and cultural sites:

  • Indigenous Student Engagement Programs (Deadly Ways)
  • NAIDOC Art Exhibitions
  • Gumbi Gumbi Gardens

USQ also acknowledges a number of significant dates in the Australian calendar relating to the history and contributions made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Indigenous employees

USQ is committed to increasing the educational, employment, training and career development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Workforce Strategy 2018-2020, USQ aims to attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to both academic and professional positions across all facets of the University. 


The participation, advice and experience of Indigenous Elders is highly important within all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In Toowoomba, the local community Elders are members of the Toowoomba Council of Elders Aboriginal Corporation who meet regularly to discuss and address issues relevant to the local Indigenous community. 

The University’s Elders and Valued Persons Advisory Board (EVPAB) provides high-level strategic advice to the University to assist its endeavours in Reconciliation and the improvement of outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the activities of the University.

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Racism. It stops with me

We are committed to supporting the eradication of racism and are a proud supporter of the ‘Racism. It Stops with me’ campaign. We provide our staff with relevant training and policies are in place to ensure that USQ does not tolerate racism. Further information can be viewed in the National Anti-Racism Strategy (PDF 935KB) and USQ’s Anti-Discrimination and Freedom from Harassment Policy.

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Reinstating Aboriginal history and culture

USQ researchers have been documenting a journey of discovery, as an impassioned Aboriginal woman leads her community and her region through a process of cultural sharing, to preserve heritage, history and self.

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