Professor Colleen Hayward is a senior Noongar woman with extensive family links throughout the south-west of WA. She comes from a teaching family with both her parents and two siblings having been teachers. Her father was the first Aboriginal teacher, and Principal, in WA. She is Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, Edith Cowan University’s Centre for Indigenous Education and Research and concurrently holds the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Equity and Indigenous across the University.
For more than 30 years, Colleen has provided significant input to policies and programs on a wide range of issues, reflecting the needs of minority groups at community, state and national levels. She has an extensive background in a range of areas including health, education, training, employment, housing, child protection and law & justice as well as significant experience in policy and management. In much of this work, she draws on her qualifications which include a Diploma of Teaching, a Bachelor of Education, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aboriginal Community Management and Development and a Post Graduate Certificate in Cross Sector Partnerships from Cambridge University.
Among her many achievements, she has been recognised for her long-standing work for and on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia by being named a finalist in the national Deadlys Awards in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health (2008) and by winning the 2008 National NAIDOC Aboriginal Person of the Year Award. Colleen is also a recipient (2006) of the Premier of WA’s prestigious Multicultural Ambassador’s Award for advancing human rights and anti-racism in the community and is the 2009 inductee into the WA Department of Education’s Hall of Fame for Achievement in Aboriginal Education. In 2011, she completed her term as a foundation member of the inaugural Board of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. In 2012, Colleen was inducted into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame, was recognised as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia and made a Western Australian Ambassador for Children and Young People.
In 2015, Colleen was a finalist in the Aboriginal Award category of the 2015 Western Australian of the Year Awards and the Australian of the Year (Western Australia) Awards. 2015 also saw Colleen awarded one of Murdoch University’s Distinguished Alumni for her work in the areas of Equity and Social Justice. She was named as one of WA’s 100 most influential West Australians in both 2015 and 2016.
Colleen is a co-author of a book entitled “Teaching Indigenous Students: Cultural awareness and classroom strategies for improving learning outcomes”, released by Allen & Unwin in 2015.
Colleen currently chairs the Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board for the Mental Health Commission and is a member of the State Government’s Meth Amphetamine Taskforce. She is also a member of the WA Gaming and Wagering Commission and the Board of the Fremantle Football Club. She has recently accepted an invitation of membership of Chief Executive Women (Australia).
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