Embedding Indigenous Cultural Awareness in ICT Curriculum

Embedding Indigenous Cultural Awareness within ICT Curriculum to limit Indigenous disadvantage

Degree type


Closing date

22 November 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore


$28,597pa for 3.5 years

About the research project

Indigenous disadvantage is widely recognised throughout Australia. In 2017 Universities Australia, in partnership with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium, released its Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020. The strategy requires all member universities to commit to have “processes that ensure all students will encounter and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural content as integral parts of their course of study, by 2020”. By implementing this strategy, as institutions that significantly influence Australia’s future as a nation, Universities are acknowledging their moral obligation to social justice and self-determination for Indigenous people. Universities are conduits for social, cultural and economic development and have a significant role to play in preventing Indigenous disadvantage. Providing graduates with an awareness of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives contributes to a breadth and depth of learning that helps prepare them to be effective global citizens that can influence societal change to end Indigenous disadvantage.

Indigenous disadvantage is widely recognised throughout Australia across socio‐economic indicators such as health, education, and employment. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been a significant contributor to Indigenous disadvantage by facilitating Indigenous Intellectual Property theft via the amount and kind of data and knowledge related to Indigenous people stolen or exploited. The digital divide is also central to Indigenous disadvantage. As new technology increasingly invades everyday life some individuals, due to geographic location, education, economic position, or culture, have been excluded from not only the benefits of ICT but have been disadvantaged by limited ICT access and education.

Universities must address these issues by reflecting on and adapting their ICT curriculum to reduce the impact of Indigenous disadvantage. Currently Indigenous awareness in ICT curriculum is minimal, even though ICT can have profound positive and negative impacts on Indigenous peoples.  It is important that graduating ICT Professionals have a greater awareness of Indigenous culture, knowledge and perspectives and know how to interact with our First Peoples to limit future disadvantage. This project will:

  • explore the extent relevant content is currently included throughout ICT curricula across Tertiary institutions;
  • identify what and where relevant content could be covered within ICT curriculum; and
  • involve an evaluation from a student engagement perspective of the implementation of such content within an ICT curriculum.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Nicole Herbert


The scholarship supporting this project provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000;
  • a tuition fee scholarship for up to 4 years (successful domestic applicants will be awarded an RTP Fees Offset and successful international applicants will be awarded a University of Tasmania Fees Offset)

The scholarship supporting this project is funded by the University of Tasmania and the Australian Government through the Research Training Program.


The project is open to domestic (Australia and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from International applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the PhD minimum entry requirements.

Applicants who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples are encouraged to apply.

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Information Technology
  • Information Systems
  • Computing
  • Computer Science
  • Science
  • Education

Selection Criteria

The project/scholarship is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Nicole Herbert, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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