Four inspiring Tasmanian Aboriginal scholars have been awarded prestigious Indigenous Higher Degree by Research Scholarships from the University of Tasmania.
University of Tasmania Pro Vice-Chancellor (Aboriginal Leadership) Professor Greg Lehman said the scholarships acknowledged the significant role that research played in addressing social, cultural and economic aspects of Tasmanian Aboriginal community development.
He said the program celebrated individuals who have demonstrated long-term commitment to their communities through participation in community, arts and heritage programs. It also resourced research proposals that could make a significant positive impact on the future of Aboriginal Tasmania.
The recipients are:
Denise Robinson who will undertake PhD research on Tasmanian Aboriginal storytelling and curatorial practice
- Heidi Lethbridge Who will undertake a Masters by Research project to investigate relationships between healing modalities and treaty making
- Fiona Hamilton who will investigate Aboriginal women’s relationships with marine environments
- Terrill Riley-Gibson who will examine the life and voice of Aboriginal matriarch Dalrymple Mountgarrett Briggs.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black congratulated the scholars and welcomed the contribution their perspectives and insights would bring.
“On December 4 last year, we issued an historic Apology to Tasmanian Aboriginal people for the University’s association with harmful research practices in the past,” he said.
“We see a future that builds on our research strengths through new understandings informed by Indigenous knowledge and perspectives. Empowering Aboriginal people to do this is an important and highly relevant way for the University to enact the principles of the Apology.”
Professor Black said the spirit of the Apology was being brought to life in a range of different ways, from campus developments in Launceston and Burnie, to curriculum development and a program to significantly increase Aboriginal employment at the University.
“The role of the Apology will be in guiding and inspiring what we do by reminding us that Tasmanian Aboriginal culture is the foundation of our place in Tasmania,” he said.
“The Apology will continue to remind us that there is still much to do if we are to rectify the past injustice and harm that we have taken responsibility for.”