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Leadership honour for Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett

13 April 2017
Honorary degree for Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency CEO

Graduation ceremony includes a Doctor of Letters in Social Work (honoris causa) for Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AM, honouring leadership in Aborginal and Torres Strait Islander welfare and affairs.

Honorary doctorate recipient Muriel Bamblett AM, pictured with Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor(Indigenous Strategy and Services)

Honorary doctorate recipient Muriel Bamblett AM, pictured with Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services).

Adjunct Professor Bamblett was presented with a Doctor of Letters in Social Work (honoris causa) for leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander welfare and affairs at a conferral ceremony at the University’s Great Hall.

Adjunct Professor Bamblett, a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman, has been CEO of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) since 1999.

With distinguished contributions, she has advocated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, and the importance of culture, and care within the community.

“It is my pleasure to congratulate Adjunct Professor Bamblett on this honour in recognition of her outstanding contributions in child welfare practice and policy, " said Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services).

"She has shown courageous leadership over many years and continues to play a crucial role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally.” 

Professor Diane Mayer, Head of School and Dean of the Sydney School of Education and Social Work, congratulated Adjunct Professor Bamblett on the conferral of this honour. 

“Adjunct Professor Bamblett has made significant contributions to advance the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with particularly dedicated efforts for children and families,” said Professor Mayer.

She added: “The University is delighted to award Adjunct Professor Bamblett an honorary doctorate in recognition of this longstanding and continuing commitment.”

Adjunct Professor Bamblett’s efforts have led to the inclusion in child welfare legislation in Victoria of a fundamental commitment to the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to their families, community, culture, and identity.     

She has shown courageous leadership and continues to play a crucial role for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people nationally.
Professor Shane Houston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services)
Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AM delivers the occasional address at a graduation ceremony at the University of Sydney on 13 April 2017.

Nationally, Adjunct Professor Bamblett spent a decade as Chairperson of the Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), leading complex and demanding work in this space.

For two years from 2009, Adjunct Professor Bamblett investigated Northern Territory child protection services, examining the roles and responsibilities of government departments and how services could be improved, especially in rural and remote areas.

These concerted efforts included examining the quality, sustainability and direction of out-of-home care, staff retention, and training, while seeking better ways for stakeholders in this space to work together.

In delivering the occasional address, Adjunct Professor Bamblett (pictured above) said she accepted the honour on behalf of those who had accompanied her on a journey for justice and change.

Adjunct Professor Bamblett is the recipient of several awards and an active member of many boards and committees, including the Victorian Children’s Council, the Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Forum, the Aboriginal Justice Forum and the Aboriginal Community Elders Service.

She became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004 and in 2009 was appointed Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University. Two years later, she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was named as a finalist for a Human Rights Medal.

Adjunct Professor Bamblett is currently a member of the Interim Treaty Working Group, which has been negotiating with the State government and consulting communities in Victoria about a treaty.    

Luke O'Neill

Media and Public Relations Adviser (Humanities and Social Sciences)