The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP, will deliver the annual Frank Archibald Memorial Lecture at the University of New England later this month.
Mr Wyatt will speak about education as a driving force for change on Tuesday, November 19.
Well-known for his eloquent deliveries in parliament and other fora, Minister Wyatt asks how education can help us understand the past, and what role it will play in delivering a voice and constitutional recognition for all Australians - specifically to help close the gap for Indigenous Australians, empower communities, and provide greater opportunities for people.
UNE Vice-Chancellor and CEO, Professor Brigid Heywood, said Minister Wyatt's presentation speaks directly to UNE's determination to support its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff to excel.
More than 900 Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders students studied at UNE, and more than 50 have graduated this year.
Professor Heywood said the university had created a new Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous role to ensure UNE was an employer of choice for Indigenous people and a centre of excellence for Indigenous education. UNE, she said, was Australia's first university to develop educational offerings directly for Aboriginal educators and those seeking to enable practice.
The Frank Archibald Memorial Lecture is held annually in honour of Gumbaynggirr man Frank Archibald, a revered Aboriginal community member of the Armidale area.
Like Minister Wyatt, Frank Archibald earned respect for his knowledge and interest in all issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly education. Described as a "passionate and forceful advocate for the rights of Aboriginal people", he was a fully initiated Elder who spoke seven different Aboriginal languages, understood a further two, and spoke English fluently.
Established in 1986, the lecture series provides a lecture platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leading professionals in their fields. Now in its 33rd year, it is one of the longest-running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lecture series in the country.
The Frank Archibald Memorial Lecture, "Teaching Indigenous Australia - Understanding our past and unlocking our future", will be held in the UNE Arts Theatre (A1) on Tuesday, 19 November at 6pm. The university invites community members to attend this free public lecture. Contact Francesca Stahlut on firstname.lastname@example.org or 6773 5049 for more information.