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Wed, 31 May 2023

History made as JCU honours first Indigenous Chancellor

New James Cook University Chancellor Professor Ngiare Brown.
New James Cook University Chancellor Professor Ngiare Brown.

James Cook University’s first female and Indigenous Chancellor will be celebrated in a historic ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

Professor Ngiare Brown will take part in an Investiture Ceremony on the lawns of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library at Townsville’s Bebegu Yumba Campus, formally inducting her as the University’s sixth Chancellor.

A Yuin woman from the south coast of New South Wales, Prof Brown is a passionate advocate for better Indigenous health outcomes and was one of the nation’s first Indigenous medical graduates.

“It is a tremendous honour to be elected to this incredibly important role at JCU and continue the rich legacy left by those who served before me,” Prof Brown said.

“As a proud JCU alumnus, I hope to be able to leverage my experiences in Indigenous affairs, health, education and politics in service of JCU’s core business in research and education.

“I look forward to engaging with JCU staff and students and strengthening the crucial role we play in the broader community as a provider of quality tertiary education and world-class research.”

JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs said Prof Brown will help lead JCU into its next phase of development.

“Prof Brown’s Investiture as Chancellor marks a new era for JCU and one that we hope will inspire our students to continue striving for excellence in their chosen fields,” he said.

“Having previously been recognised by the University as an Outstanding Alumni, she has an innate understanding of, and appreciation for, the regional areas we serve across northern Queensland and the broader Asia-Pacific.

“I look forward to working with Prof Brown over the coming years.”

The Investiture Ceremony will begin at 3pm and will be attended by the Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, JCU staff, students, Traditional Owners and community members.

The Ceremony will be followed by the annual Mabo Lecture at the Sir George Kneipp Auditorium at 5:45pm, delivered by one of Australia’s most respected human rights and social justice campaigners, Professor Tom Calma AO.

A Voice to Parliament Community Event will conclude the week on Friday, featuring a panel of experts who will discuss the upcoming referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.


Media enquiries: michael.serenc@jcu.edu.au