Honorary Doctor of Letters
Citation delivered by Professor Patricia M. Davidson, Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Bronwyn Fredericks as a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) on 1 November 2023.
Chancellor, I present Professor Bronwyn Fredericks.
A trailblazing researcher, leader, author, advocate and social justice champion, Professor Bronwyn Fredericks continues to contribute enormously to improving education, health, wellbeing and life outcomes for First Nations communities, particularly in rural and remote areas.
Bronwyn is a proud Murri woman from South East Queensland with over 30 years of high impact involvement in higher education, government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based organisations. She is currently a Professor and Deputy-Vice- Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at The University of Queensland, a pivotal role driving the implementation of the University’s Indigenous strategy and Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), strengthening leadership capacity and building community relationships. She has also served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at Central Queensland University.
A collaborative researcher and prolific author, Bronwyn is renowned for her community based, multidisciplinary and translational research spanning health, education, women, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Research Advisory Committee, the Beyond Blue National Research Advisory Committee, and the prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts. Bronwyn is also the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium representative for Universities Australia.
She has received numerous research awards and fellowships, was part of a cross disciplinary NSW Health-funded research project on the COVID-19 public health response for Aboriginal communities, and co-wrote an award-winning book on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing and midwifery care. Bronwyn’s exceptional impact was recognised with the Public Health Association of Australia’s inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Award in 2019 and a National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Award in 2022.
Bronwyn has thrice been appointed a Commissioner with the Queensland Productivity Commission, guiding inquiries on service provision in discrete and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, on imprisonment and recidivism, and on manufacturing. She has played a decisive role in a range of community organisations, programs, and committees, and is a passionate member of the Uluru Statement from the Heart Working Group.
Chancellor, through her work in academia, government and community, Professor Bronwyn Fredericks has demonstrated unwavering commitment to improving the lives and futures of First Nations peoples, and with this, a better Australia for us all.
It is a privilege and honour to present Professor Bronwyn Fredericks for a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.