Professor Roger Thomas, the Director of the University of Adelaide's Centre for Australian Indigenous Research and Studies , has been appointed Chair of Australia's second Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council .
The membership of the 15-member Council, which advises the Federal Government on higher education policy, was announced  by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Julie Bishop .
Professor Thomas was a member of the first Council, which served for two years and helped bring about important changes to Abstudy and recent Budget allocations to assist 1000 Indigenous students.
He also is a member of the World Indigenous Higher Education Council and recently served a three-year term on the South Australian Government's Social Inclusion Board.
Professor Thomas has been prominent in Aboriginal Affairs at a State and national level for many years and is respected throughout South Australia for his work with and for his people. He has a strong background in welfare and higher education, initially at TAFE and for the past 10 years at the University of Adelaide.
"It is a great honour to lead this Council, which plays a key role in representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff across the nation," Professor Thomas said.
"There are plenty of issues to be addressed and my aim will be to ensure that the second Council is as relevant and effective as the first. Our aim is to make a difference."
Among other roles, the new Council will also:
- make recommendations for awards under the Indigenous Staff Scholarships program
- develop strategies for increasing the number of, and enhancing career paths of, Indigenous staff employed in higher education institutions
- convene an annual Indigenous Higher Education Conference to discuss research and policy directions; sector/institutional achievements; successful innovations and best practice measures.