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Professor Tom Calma AO reappointed UC Chancellor until 2022

2 April 2019: Human rights advocate Professor Tom Calma AO will continue his role as Chancellor of the University of Canberra until 2022 following his recent reappointment by the University Council.

Professor Calma will be the longest-standing member of the Council, having been first appointed by the ACT Chief Minister in 2008 before being appointed by the Council as Deputy Chancellor in 2012 and taking over as Chancellor two years later.

Guiding the University through a transformative time, Professor Calma has seen UC grow into a top 50 university in the Asia Pacific, and amongst the top 100 young universities worldwide.

“Professor Calma’s commitment to education, to fairness, to health, to innovation, to creativity and to the celebration of sport in creating a better world and a stronger community for the future are traits that are reflected in the University of Canberra’s ethos,” said Deep Saini, UC Vice-Chancellor and President.

“It is only fitting that he continue this journey with us to transform the future through the young minds of today.”

With a focus on career-driven degrees and integrated learning, the University of Canberra has partnered with government and business to create innovative learning pathways for students and research.

The University of Canberra continues to push for Gender Equality with the establishment of the 50/50 by 2030 initiative and for 12 years in a row, has been awarded Employer of Choice for Gender Equality.

The University of Canberra is committed to leading the sector in equity, diversity, inclusion and access to the advancement of reconciliation, and to the building of just, prosperous and sustainable communities which are respectful of our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

“I cherish the opportunity to continue working with UC for an equitable, better future for all people through education,” said Professor Calma.

“My life’s work has focused on social justice, education and reconciliation and those values are held in high regard here.”    

In 2014, Professor Calma was the second Indigenous person to be appointed Chancellor of an Australian university, following Dr Pat O’Shane as the first Indigenous Chancellor. His work in social justice has spanned a lifetime. Since the 1980s he has been an instrumental Indigenous education and human rights campaigner.

From 1995 – 2002 Professor Calma was a senior Australian diplomat posted to India and Vietnam representing Australia’s education and training interests and he served as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2010, and Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 until 2009.  

From his ground-breaking 2005 Social Justice Report which laid the foundation for the Close the Gap Campaign; being awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2012 and receiving the Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial Flag in 2016, Professor Calma has worked tirelessly for social justice.

Professor Tom Calma’s third appointment as the University of Canberra’s Chancellor begins on 1 January 2020.