PROF Tom Calma will continue as the chancellor of the University of Canberra until 2022 after his recent reappointment by the university council.
The human rights advocate will become the longest-standing member of the council after first joining in 2008 (he was appointed by the then Chief Minister Jon Stanhope) before being appointed by the council as deputy chancellor in 2012 and taking over as chancellor two years later.
He was the second indigenous person to be appointed chancellor of an Australian university, following Dr Pat O’Shane, who was the first indigenous chancellor.
UC vice-chancellor and president Deep Saini says Prof Calma has seen UC grow into a top 50 university in the Asia Pacific, and the top 100 young universities worldwide.
Prof Calma says he cherishes the opportunity to continue working with UC for an equitable, better future for all people through education.
“My life’s work has focused on social justice, education and reconciliation and those values are held in high regard here,” he says.
Since the 1980s Prof Calma has been an instrumental indigenous education and human rights campaigner.
From 1995 to 2002 he was a senior Australian diplomat posted to India and Vietnam representing Australia’s education and training interests and he served as the Aboriginal. From 2004 to 2010 he was the Torres Strait Islander Social Justice commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission and, from 2004 until 2009, he was the Race Discrimination commissioner.
In 2005 his social justice report laid the foundation for the “Close the Gap Campaign”, which awarded him an Order of Australia medal in 2012 and a Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial Flag in 2016.
Prof Calma’s third appointment as the University of Canberra’s Chancellor begins on January 1 next year.