Indigenous Academic Support Advisor

Townsville, Australia
28 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
12 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Position Overview

The Indigenous Academic Support Advisor develops and implements effective learning support strategies for Indigenous students to ensure they progress and complete their degree programs. The incumbent has substantial understanding of the challenges that academically under-prepared Indigenous students face in higher education studies.

The Indigenous Academic Support Advisor works in a coordinated academic learning support team that utilise data analytics to track and monitor student’s academic progress, and gauges the effectiveness of early intervention strategies and learning support plans. 

Office of the Provost

The Provost has responsibility for the Academic Divisions, the Division of Students, the Division of Research and Innovation, and Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs at the executive level. The Provost is the standing deputy to the Vice Chancellor. As the senior officer in the Division of Research and Innovation, the Provost is responsible for developing and implementing research policy and providing leadership in research.  This involves promoting collaboration with Government, industry, publicly funded research agencies and universities. 

Indigenous Education & Research Centre

In collaboration with the University’s divisions, colleges and directorates the Indigenous Education & Research Centre will provide a whole of university approach to our engagement with Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, alumni, staff and communities.   

The Centre’s core business focus is to provide leadership and coordination to increase the access, retention and completion rates of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by creating an inspiring and supportive environment on campus that celebrates the heritage, diversity and achievements of Indigenous people; assisting Indigenous students to confidently participate in the academic and cultural life of the University and delivering a smarter learning support agenda that progresses Indigenous students through to completion of degree programs.  It will also be a place where Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff and community feel safe and respected.

The Centre will also adopt a progressive curriculum agenda that prepares all students to navigate the complexities of contemporary Indigenous situations in the tropics; design educational experiences that deliver an outstanding experience for all students, with exposure to research, and an engaging campus life; and engage in high quality research, intellectual scholarship, and research training in ways that enhance the traditional knowledge of Indigenous people and sustainable living practices for the tropics.  

While the initial focus of the Centre is to consolidate and develop our strengths in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learning, teaching and research within the northern Queensland region, our ambition is to extend the scope and reach to include comparative international studies, with a focus on Indigenous people in the tropics.

Organisational Charts

James Cook University  

Office of the Provost

Indigenous Education & Research Centre

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Develop and manage individual learning support plans for Indigenous students to ensure they progress towards academic success. 
  2. Design processes for the case-management of student progress and maintain documented records of academic support activity for regular review and refinement of academic support strategies in collaboration with the whole Indigenous Student Services team.
  3. Recruit, train and manage tutors to ensure the support provided to students is effective. 
  4. Organise and manage an annual Winter School program and Pre-program to enhance preparedness and capacity of Indigenous students before they enrol in their chosen degree programs.
  5. Develop and manage a Special Admissions program for Indigenous students to assess and ensure students can be supported to achieve success once enrolled.
  6. Work in a team environment to gather, interpret and analyse statistical information to monitor and track student progress, and to inform early intervention strategies where necessary. 
  7. In collaboration with key teaching staff, develop broad ranging evaluation strategies to ensure the adequacy of academic support provision for Indigenous students.
  8. Provide information for prospective and enrolled students on the academic aspects related to entry pathways to JCU, special admissions processes, degree programs and requirements, and learning support services as well as informed advice on financial assistance related to the cost of higher education studies (e.g., Centrelink requirements, ABSTUDY entitlements, scholarships, cadetships, internships, accommodation options, etc.).
  9. Support the University's commitment to the principles of reconciliation, which exemplify respect for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the valuing of justice and equity for all Australians.
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values.
  11. Support the principles of the TropEco program and engage in commitment to JCU sustainability goals and objectives.


There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff. Your specific level descriptor can be found at:

Professional and Technical

Level 8

Generic Accountabilities  

There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff.  

  1. The Indigenous Academic Support Advisor is required to observe the lawful and reasonable directions, policies and decisions of the University Council, understand and comply with the Enterprise Agreement, the Statutes and Rules of the University, the policies and decisions of the University Council and other appropriate University authorities, as in force from time to time.
  2. The Indigenous Academic Support Advisor is required to demonstrate a personal commitment to ensure personal safety and the safety of others and contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. This includes the effective implementation and compliance with James Cook University WHS policies, procedures and safe systems of work, together with all relevant legislation, duties and obligations. Contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. 
  3. The Indigenous Academic Support Advisor is required to exercise proper discretion in all matters affecting the well-being of the University which involve public writing or speaking in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct.

Special Conditions

  • This position is a designated position for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Where an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander is not immediately available to be appointed to this role, the position may be filled on a fixed-term basis for a period of five years.  The position would then be readvertised to determine if an Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person can be recruited or transferred to the position.
  • A current working with children ‘Blue Card’ is a requirement of this position.

Selection Criteria 

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. Postgraduate qualification, or significant progress towards completion of a postgraduate qualification, in a field relevant to the academic needs of undergraduate students such as English as an Additional Language, maths and/or science, and extensive relevant experience in a similar position, or an equivalent combination of experience and/or education and/or training. 
  2. Demonstrated effectiveness in developing, leading and evaluating educational programs, with evidence of positive outcomes for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  3. Demonstrated commitment to improving Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education outcomes, including experience in student case management.
  4. Demonstrated understanding of current policy imperatives in Indigenous education and their relevance to this role, including ability to engage in a scholarly manner with relevant professional associations and collaborate with a range of stakeholders across the University.
  5. High level oral communication skills with exemplary interpersonal, negotiation and problem solving skills, including cross-cultural communication.
  6. High level written communication skills with demonstrated proficiency in a range of learning technologies, including the suite of Microsoft programs, use of databases and analytic tools to achieve student success.


  1. Experience in the design of research/evaluation projects.
  2. Demonstrated success working in a team environment.