The National Dreamtime Awards, conferred during a ceremony at the Star in Sydney, recognise the exceptional achievements and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across the community, education, sport, business arts and entertainment in Australia.
The Sydney Law School academic was selected from a competitive field of nominees including Michael Mossman, from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Emma Walke from Sydney Medical School and Dr Katrina Thorpe, Lecturer from the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.
The Educator of the Year Award was presented to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander academic or teacher who has demonstrated a commitment to improving the education needs for Aboriginal students and enhancing their own academic credentials to work more effectively in their chosen field.
“It is a great honour to win this important award,” said Dr Nicole Watson.
“To receive such recognition is humbling, and I am privileged to be among the other incredible finalists who achieve so much for their communities every day.
“I also feel privileged to be a member of the Indigenous community at the University of Sydney,” she added.
Each one of us walks in the footsteps of giants who made it possible for our people to gain entry into the Academy.
"Hopefully, I will be able to make a contribution that will be beneficial to the next generation of Indigenous legal scholars.”
Professor Juanita Sherwood, Associate Dean (Indigenous Strategy & Services) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, who presented the award, congratulated Dr Watson for her significant work.
“We are very proud that Dr Nicole Watson has been awarded the honour of Educator of the Year,” she said.
“This award recognises the contribution that Dr Nicole Watson has made to Aboriginal students at the University of Sydney and to academia more widely and we look forward to seeing how her work will benefit our community in the future.”
Professor Joellen Riley, Head of School and Dean of Sydney Law School, also congratulated Dr Watson on her achievement.
“I am very pleased that Dr Watson has been recognised for her leadership, teaching and scholarly achievements.
"As the Sydney Law School’s Associate Dean (Indigenous), Dr Watson has helped our students and academic colleagues better understand legal issues that affect Indigenous communities,” she said.
The University of Sydney was a sponsor of the 2018 National Dreamtime Awards.