NIKERI Institute

The National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation (NIKERI) Institute enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians the flexibility to access higher education while maintaining their family, work and community commitments.

Our history

The NIKERI Institute is proud of its over 30 years of history at Deakin and acknowledges the more than 1000 students who have graduated. Like the original Koorie Teacher Education Program's (KTEP) evolution into the Institute of Koorie Education (IKE), the institute's renaming to NIKERI demonstrates the growing capabilities of the institute. The name change reflects a national footprint inclusive of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and growing Indigenous Knowledges and commitment to Indigenous research within the institute.

The NIKERI Institute difference

When you study with the NIKERI Institute, you'll gain a fully accredited Deakin degree while learning in a space with shared cultural values and belief systems. You'll take part in several on-campus one-week intensives throughout the year, then continue your studies online at home. We call this Community Based Delivery (CBD).

We cover all your transport to Deakin and back home again, and while you’re here we supply accommodation and meals at our Kitjarra student residence. With us, you'll experience education that is culturally sensitive and encompasses Indigenous knowledges and experiences.

Our courses

  • Choose from qualifications across the arts, education, social work, law, environment, Indigenous research, health and nursing.
  • Experience opportunities for honours and research pathways.
  • Embrace the benefits of CBD – a learning experience that recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges within a supportive and flexible environment.

How to apply

Ready to begin your journey to higher education? Follow our step-by-step process for applying to study at the NIKERI Institute and you'll soon be preparing for your first study intensive.

Learn how to apply

Indigenous Direct Admissions Program

NIKERI Institute offers an Indigenous Direct Admissions Program (IDAP). This is a week-long immersive on-campus program that will help you to prepare for your learning journey through the Community Based Delivery (CBD) model. All prospective students who have completed an online application to NIKERI Institute are invited to attend the program.

IDAP is designed to provide applicants with the study skills to succeed at university. Applicants will experience on-campus study blocks similar to the CBD model, start to build relationships with classmates and prepare for university life.

While on campus, you will stay at our Kitjarra Student Residences and be provided with all meals and transport during the week.


The NIKERI Institute believes everyone should have access to higher education without limitations or battling financial hardship. As such, our broad range of scholarships provide an opportunity to substantially reduce your university costs and ensure your study experience is both positive and productive.

Scholarships can be academic based, awarded as recognition for certain achievements or in place to redress the inequity in access for students seeking to gain higher education qualifications. When browsing the available scholarships, use the 'advanced filters' feature to find the scholarships most relevant to you.

Find a Deakin scholarship

Kitjarra residences

Meaning 'learning place' in Wadawurrung language, the Kitjarra student study and accommodation residences will be your home away from home during study intensives.

Learn more about the Kitjarra residences

Indigenous Tutorial Network

The Indigenous Tutorial Network helps you to gain access to a tutor in your area to help with your studies – even if you’re in the most remote of communities. The network is set up to be responsive and relevant to your individual needs.

Learn more about the Indigenous Tutorial Network

Indigenous studies for Deakin students

As a Deakin student, you can enrol in Indigenous studies elective units through the NIKERI Institute to help you build a well-rounded degree. The units discuss ways you can enact positive change through promoting diversity and cultural understanding. Units are delivered by Indigenous academic staff and can be taken as an elective in any course.

Why take an Indigenous studies elective unit?

You’ll get a comprehensive and engaging exploration of the history, culture and identity of Australia’s First Nation’s People. You’ll gain transferable knowledge, build vital communication skills and enhance your cultural responsiveness.

Learn more about Indigenous studies elective units

I don't teach to talk at people. I don't teach for any other reason than to help people understand Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal health, and Aboriginal education. I see an opportunity to help build what was once broken.

Candice McKenzie

Coordinator of Indigenous medical education/Lecturer in public health medicine

Our team

NIKERI Institute is strengthened by our highly experienced, friendly and professional staff and our advisory board, who maintain our ability to be a world-class education institute.

Visit our staff listing

NIKERI Institute Advisory Board

The institute's advisory board was established to provide governance advice around key areas including Indigenous knowledge, courses, student engagement and community aspirations and partnerships. The board reflects the national scale of the institute's activities and advises on cultural context and direction on strategic objectives.

The composition of the board includes external representatives from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, as well as internal representatives from the institute, the Faculty of Arts and Education and the broader Deakin community.

Deakin's commitment

Deakin wishes to pay respect and acknowledge traditional land ownership.

Deakin campuses are built on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung people of the Geelong region, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the greater Melbourne region, and the Gunditjmara people of the Warrnambool region.

We are committed to enabling all of our students and staff to respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, culture and values.

Learn more about Deakin's commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Contact us

General enquiries
+61 3 5227 2538
1800 063 383
Email the NIKERI Institute

NIKERI Institute
Deakin University
75 Pigdons Rd
Waurn Ponds, Victoria 3216


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