Woolyungah Indigenous Centre (WIC) would like to inform its readers that Professor Paul Chandler, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Inclusion and Outreach) has decided to retire at the end of 2020. This is a huge loss for UOW and UOW’s Indigenous community. In his 13 years with UOW, Professor Chandler has maintained an active role in spearheading initiatives to advance the university’s approach towards educating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; and thus, has worked to improve the learning experience of all students through the prioritisation of equity, cultural appropriateness and the creation of safe spaces throughout UOW.
In his various roles at UOW, Professor Chandler has contributed to some monumental achievements. He remains the founding chair of Early Start; a member of the ARC Centre for Excellence for the Digital Child Advisory Board, who in the past have recognised Professor Chandler as one of the top 10 scientists in Australia; is largely responsible for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, Research, Engagement and Enabling Strategy for UOW; and has chaired both the Aboriginal Advisory Group and Aboriginal Advisory Committee in an attempt to further enrichen the university’s interactions with both Indigenous Australian students and staff alike. Professor Chandler has also provided oversight for UOW’s Reconciliation Action Plan. His involvement and contributions will be missed by UOW.
Professor Chandler represents his Bidjigal People proudly, maintaining a strong connection with community and country while investing in the rich diversity of Indigenous Australia. Retirement will not negatively impact this investment. Rather, it creates the time and space needed for Professor Chandler to spend more quality time with his wife Michelle and children Tahnee and Jed and simultaneously increase his involvement and connection with community. He intends to work with south coast Aboriginal communities in a range of capacities, including bushfire recovery and the placement of foster care children in safe, culturally appropriate homes. In these ways and more, Professor Chandler is able to utilise personal and professional connections gained throughout his career to give back to Australia’s Indigenous population for the benefit of wider Australia. We wish him the best of luck with this next stage of tireless advocacy for Indigenous Australians and involvement in the betterment of Australian society.
WIC would like to thank Professor Chandler and wish him well for the future. We hope that the extra time with his family keeps them all happy and healthy and that his work with Indigenous communities continues to produce progressive, universally beneficial results. Thanks, Paul!