Emeritus Professor Denise Bradley AC

Recipient of the Vice-Chancellor's Alumni Award 2019

Emeritus Professor Denise Bradley AC is an esteemed advocate for equity in education. Her contributions to higher education policy have changed the face of the Australian tertiary sector.

Denise began her career as a teacher, was instrumental in the establishment of the University of South Australia, and later led a national review of the higher education system which resulted in the Bradley Report and subsequent sweeping changes to Australia’s educational landscape.

“Education offered me plenty to do but also something to care about and to put my efforts into, and I care deeply and profoundly about issues to do with access to a high quality education for all,” said Denise.

Central to Denise’s ethos is a view of education as an investment rather than a cost, as well as the implementation of effective programs to service disadvantaged groups.

“It’s absolutely critical for society that we educate our citizens, for economic reasons as well as a whole set of good social reasons,” she said.

“All of my life experiences have led me to understand that the only way you can deal with questions of access to education for disadvantaged groups is through use of special programs,” she said.

“You have to change their world view about what’s possible and you have to give them the means to do it.”

Denise has been recognised extensively for her significant contributions to Australia’s tertiary sector. Among an impressive registry of accolades, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1995; awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003; named South Australian of the Year in 2005; made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2008; and was conferred the prestigious College Medal by the Australian College of Educators in 2011.

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