Professor Megan Davis outside the UN Building in New York. Picture: Andrzej Liguz

Megan Davis appointed first Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous at UNSW

Law Professor Megan Davis, a Cobble Cobble Aboriginal woman from the Barrungam nation in south-west Queensland, has been appointed as UNSW’s first Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous. She will take up the role on June 1 after her obligations in leading the Referendum Council Aboriginal Constitutional Dialogues are fulfilled. In her new role, Prof Davis will have overall responsibility for ensuring that UNSW delivers on its agenda for Indigenous students. “In particular I’m excited about showcasing and developing UNSW research excellence across many important areas of Indigenous policy that impact communities on the ground and nurturing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars,” she said. Prof Davis is one of Australia’s most highly regarded lawyers specialising in public law and public international law. Her research work is targeted at law reform in the areas of constitutional law and violence against Aboriginal women.

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St Mary’s take on Wanderers in grand final

St Mary’s player Jack Long salutes the crowd after last year’s NTFL grand final.  Picture: Peter Argent
Thursday, 16 March 2017 2:48 pm

FOR the third straight year, St Mary’s and Wanderers are to square off in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) men’s Premier League grand final. The big game will be at TIO Stadium, Darwin, on Saturday night. Last year the Muk Muks were favourites, but St Mary’s ‘Green Machine’ stole a thriller by two points.

A.B. Original win Australian Music Prize

A.B. Original, Trials and Briggs, at this year’s Invasion Day march in Brisbane.
Friday, 10 March 2017 8:55 am

A.B. Original’s album Reclaim Australia has won the $30,000 Australian Music Prize. Ngarrindjeri man Trials and Yorta Yorta man Briggs released the album last year, which includes the song January 26, calling for a change to the date of Australia Day. “That’s the first step to doing something, it’s the first big sign of solidarity that a nation can show with our people is acknowledging that that date is f***** up and it’s not a date of celebration,” Trials said. Reclaim Australia was named in order to “piss off those rednecks” according to Briggs.

Isaiah Firebrace to sing at Eurovision

Isaiah Firebrace.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017 8:51 am

ABORIGINAL teen singing star Isaiah Firebrace, who won X Factor last year, will represent Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest. Isaiah, 17, will fly to Kiev, in Ukraine, in May to be the third official Australian entry in the hugely popular music competition. While Eurovision is known for its kitsch and kooky acts adorned with wind machines and odd props, Firebrace is keen to let his song make its impact without the pageantry. He will perform the ballad Don’t Come Easy, a song based on his journey from rural kid to Australian recording artist.

Page wins Australia Council Dance Award

Bangarra artistic director Stephen Page
Tuesday, 7 March 2017 11:06 am

Bangarra Dance Theatre artistic director Stephen Page has won this year’s Australia Council Dance Award. Mr Page is a descendant of the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation from southeast Queensland. Since his appointment as Bangarra artistic director in 1991, Mr Page has developed a signature body of 23 works. In 2017 he celebrates his 26th year with the company, creating Bennelong – a work based on the life of Woollarawarre Bennelong, a man of the Eora nation, from the Port Jackson area in Sydney.

Barty wins Malaysian Open for first WTA singles title

Ashleigh Barty has just won the women’s singles at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.
Monday, 6 March 2017 11:52 am

ABORIGINAL tennis star Ashleigh Barty has breezed past Japan’s Nao Hibino 6-3 6-2 in a rain-hit Malaysian Open final to win her first WTA singles title in Kuala Lumpur. Barty posted on Twitter that it had been an “amazing week”. After a break from tennis and a short stint playing cricket, Barty has come back refreshed and is playing better than ever.

First Australians lead the way at Mardi Gras

First Australians leading the way at this year’s Mardi Gras.
Sunday, 5 March 2017 3:42 am

ABORIGINAL and Torres Strait Islander people again led the way at last night’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney. Despite the threat of rain, thousands turned out for the annual event. Among the many Indigenous marchers were Sistagirls from the Tiwi Islands, north of Darwin, who crowdfunded so they could make the trip south.

Machado Joseph Disease Foundation wins

Friday, 3 March 2017 11:03 am

The Machado Joseph Disease Foundation (MJDF) has won a long-term battle against the Federal Coalition Government about a $10 million grant from the Aboriginals Benefit Account (ABA). The Full Bench of the Federal Court has rejected a Government appeal over the grant, made by the Labor Government  in 2013 but overturned by the Coalition Government in 2014. Costs were also awarded to the MJDF.

Company commits to 5000 more Indigenous jobs

GenerationOne founder Andrew Forrest with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Friday, 3 March 2017 5:11 am

Staffing, maintenance and facility management service company Programmed has committed to employing 5000 Indigenous people over the next 10 years. The move has been welcomed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and mining magnate Andrew Forrest, the founder of GenerationOne which aims to close the gap between Indigenous and other Australians through employment. GenerationOne will oversee the 5000-job project. Programmed already employs 600 Indigenous workers at its nationwide operations.

Universities pledge to increase student numbers

Indigenous students perform a ceremony marking the start of the academic year at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW.
Wednesday, 1 March 2017 12:15 pm

Universities across Australia have pledged to work together to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled by 50% above the growth rate of non-Indigenous students. And as part of Universities Australia’s Indigenous Strategy 2017-2020 they have also set a target of equal success and completion rates for Indigenous students to non-Indigenous students in the same fields of study over the next decade. 

Roger Thomas to lead treaty negotiations in SA

SA Treaty Commissioner Roger Thomas and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher.
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 1:41 pm

Senior Kokatha and Mirning man Roger Thomas has been appointed SA’s Treaty Commissioner. He will lead the consultation process about a model for a treaty between the State Government and Aboriginal South Australians. Dr Thomas will consult with Aboriginal communities in coming months and provide advice to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher on a recommended treaty framework. The commissioner will then work on the treaty-making process.