Indigenous Peer Assisted Learning (IPAL)

The Indigenous Education and Research Centre (IERC) offers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at JCU the Indigenous Peer Assisted Learning (IPAL) tutoring program. Funded by the Australian Federal Government’s National Indigenous Australians Agency, this free program is available to students studying both on and off campus.

IPAL aims to support students throughout their studies by encouraging independent learning and providing support for subject content and assignments. We are also here to help reduce stress by showing students how to plan and organize their academic calendar.

Our Indigenous Academic Support Advisors develop a Student Learning Plan and work with the IPAL tutors. This is to assist students in building and strengthening academic capacity and capabilities. It has proven to improve academic outcomes for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in all disciplines across all year levels.


Tutoring is available to all students who identify as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander decent and are
currently enrolled in a course at JCU.

How it works

  1. Indigenous Academic Support Advisors contact the students to discuss their tutoring needs.
  2. Students are then matched with a tutor who has the skills and knowledge in the required discipline area.
  3. Students and tutors choose a suitable session time that fits with their schedules. Weekly sessions are recommended through the duration of their academic calendar.
  4. Tutoring can take place face to face or via zoom throughout the academic weeks and exam preparation periods.

Get a tutor today

If you want a tutor or are interested in becoming one, please get in touch with us.

Get in touch with IERC

How tutoring has helped our students

"The IPAL program has provided a valuable opportunity to review difficult concepts throughout my medical studies, discussing my interpretation and understanding of subject content with a more experienced Indigenous medical student tutor. IPAL tutoring sessions have demonstrated immense benefit toward my academic success, ensuring I am well prepared for exams and can achieve my academic goals. Importantly, IPAL tutoring has substantially improved my academic writing skills, collaborating with my tutor to identify areas for improvement within my assignments and obtain an external perspective to ensure clarity throughout assessment tasks.

Most significantly, utilizing my IPAL tutor has provided me with a senior Indigenous medical student who understands the challenges of university life, providing someone to liaise with when difficulties present throughout the semester, ensuring I can obtain an enjoyable and engaging university learning experience."

Myles Mckenzie

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

Current Student

IPAL student Myles McKenzie

"I also had a student tutor provided by the IERC which was very beneficial to getting use to the set up of how to study for the university course load and examination structure.

It was also a good way to connect with a student in a higher year level of my degree who could give insight and advise on any questions I had and had a more relatable perspective than if I was to go ask a lecturer."

Ebony Pearson

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

Current Student

Ebony Pearson.