Who was Charles Perkins?

Our inspiration


Charles Perkins studying at University of Sydney, 1963 (Photo credit: Robert McFarlane)

Our centre owes its name to one of the University of Sydney’s most revered alumni. Dr Charles Nelson Perkins AO was the first Aboriginal man to graduate from a university in Australia, in 1966.

Charles Perkins changed the lives of many Australians. He worked across boundaries to create new opportunities, and reached beyond traditional limitations to find solutions. He showed that new partnerships and ideas could change the way Australians think and act. He sought to lead new collaborations in situations where a single person or agency could not deliver the desired result.

The Charles Perkins Centre shares his philosophy. We are challenging old ways of thinking and integrating ideas from multiple streams of knowledge. We are looking for solutions beyond traditional boundaries, to provide new hope for the health of our nation.