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Champion for Indigenous education joins national equity centre at Curtin

Media release

Respected Indigenous education advocate Professor Gary Thomas has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), based at Curtin University.

Professor Thomas, Dean of Indigenous Education and Engagement at the University of the Sunshine Coast, will join the Advisory Board alongside other accomplished academics, government, and equity advocates, including Chair Ms Erin Watson-Lynn.

Based at Curtin University since 2013, the NCSEHE provides national leadership in student equity in higher education, connecting research, policy and practice to improve higher education participation and success for marginalised and disadvantaged people.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Cordery said he was pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Thomas, who would bring considerable insight and expertise to the Advisory Board.

“Professor Thomas is a respected figure in the higher education sector, having held important academic, professional and senior executive roles and having been a major contributor to Indigenous education both nationally and internationally,” Professor Cordery said.

“The Centre will benefit greatly from the appointment of Professor Thomas, who will no doubt help it to remain an innovative leader in the sector.”

NCSEHE Director Professor Sarah O’Shea said Professor Thomas’ extensive experience in advocacy, governance and teaching would complement and extend the objectives of NCSEHE.

“The current health crisis, combined with the growing reputation and influence of the research we conduct, means that NCSEHE plays a key role in higher education practise and policy,” Professor O’Shea said.

“The appointment of Professor Thomas will further expand the expertise of the Centre ensuring we remain focussed on the needs of all of our students and retain relevance in all our equity activities.”

Professor Thomas was the National Secretary of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium and member of the Academic and Research & Journal Working Groups for the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium.  He is a Registered Expert for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority and in 2016, Professor Thomas became the first Indigenous Australian to be awarded Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).

More information about the NCSEHE is available here.