New Dean to lead Indigenous research and education

Monday, 4 April 2016

The University of Adelaide has today announced the appointment of a new Dean of Indigenous Research and Education Strategy, Professor Shane Hearn.

In his new role, Professor Hearn will provide leadership on education and research programs for Indigenous students and staff, as well as employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the University.

Currently Director of Indigenous Strategy at Macquarie University, Professor Hearn has more than 20 years' experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in both the public and private sectors. This included 13 years as the first tenured Aboriginal academic in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney.

Professor Hearn is a Noongar man from Esperance, Western Australia. He holds a PhD and a Masters degree from the University of Sydney, and a Bachelor of Applied Science from Curtin University.

His previous roles include Director of Indigenous Education at the University of Sydney, and manager and chief investigator on several community-based health initiatives, such as the SmokeCheck smoking cessation program in New South Wales.

"The University of Adelaide has a commitment to providing high-quality education and research programs to Indigenous students and staff. We are pleased to welcome Professor Shane Hearn, who will play a critical role in the success of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education strategy, Tarrkarri Tirrka, and in the operations of our Indigenous education unit, Wirltu Yarlu," says the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), Professor Pascale Quester.

"Professor Hearn's experience in leading and implementing successful education and community engagement strategies will also be invaluable in strengthening the University's links with the community," she says.

Professor Hearn says: "I'm excited to join the University of Adelaide. I see this as a great opportunity to build on the University's commitment to increase participation and access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

"I look forward to working in partnership with the local Aboriginal community to explore how we might grow the Indigenous presence on campus.

"My hope is that every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who aspires to have a higher education and that has the capacity to undertake it is given a genuine opportunity to do so. Higher education and the opportunities it affords can transform the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Recruiting, retaining, progressing and graduating Indigenous students should be our first priority.

"There is no higher aspiration for a University than to produce Indigenous graduates of high quality who will be productive contributors to their communities and the broader Australian society," he says.

Professor Hearn will take up his position on 1 June 2016.


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