News

Sydney announces senior Indigenous appointment


4 April 2011

Professor Shane Houston, the University of Sydney's newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services), with Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence.
Professor Shane Houston, the University of Sydney's newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services), with Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence.

Professor Shane Houston has been appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) at the University of Sydney.

Announcing his appointment to this new position, Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said, "With his background in education and health Shane Houston is the ideal person to develop and lead an integrated strategy to advance Indigenous participation, engagement, education and research."

Professor Houston's previous position was Executive Director, Systems Performance and Aboriginal Policy with the NT Department of Health and Families. He has a long standing interest in the development of culturally secure health services and systems and in health economics especially in finding greater equity in how health systems allocate and use resources.

"As one of the country's foremost universities, we recognise the need to play a leading national role in the process of reconciliation, and, through education, to help bridge the economic and social divides that persist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians," Dr Spence said.

Professor Houston currently holds an Adjunct Professorial appointment at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney in the School of Medicine. Previously he was a Board member of the Co-Operative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Lowitja Institute.

"The University of Sydney has a special place in this country's history", Professor Houston said.

"Not only is it Australia's oldest university, it sits on the land of the Cadigal people who were the first to confront the new colony of NSW. The university is also adjacent to Redfern which is the cradle of Australia's first Aboriginal medical service and Australia's first Aboriginal legal service. The first Aboriginal man to graduate from an Australian university studied here and in 1965 the Freedom Ride started from here."

"I want to bring the passion, energy and determination that were part of Aboriginal people's lives throughout this history to the task of graduating future generations of Aboriginal and Australian leaders, and to finding answers to the many challenges facing Aboriginal people today," he said. "I want to help build a fair and more compassionate Australia."

Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said, "As part of our current Strategic Plan we have committed to pursuing an integrated strategy to advance Indigenous participation, engagement, education and research."

Professor Houston will form part of a leadership team of Deputy Vice-Chancellors contributing to the decision making across the University on all significant issues covering strategy, management, administration and related policies.

Dr Spence said: "I am delighted that Professor Houston is joining us. I look forward to working with him as he engages the University and the Australian higher education sector more broadly, about how to achieve national goals for Indigenous participation in higher education."


Media enquiries: Andrew Potter, 9351 4138, 0414 998 521, andrew.potter@sydney.edu.au