Professor Colleen Hayward joined Edith Cowan University (ECU) in early 2009 as Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, ECU’s Centre for Indigenous Education and Research. In addition to this role, in 2012 she also became Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous). Prior to joining ECU, Colleen was Manager of the Kulunga Research Network at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.
Professor Hayward is a senior Noongar woman with extensive family links throughout the south-west of Western Australia (WA). She comes from a teaching family with both her parents and two siblings having been teachers. Her father was ECU’s first Indigenous Australian graduate and the first Aboriginal teacher and Principal in WA.
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 and justice, as well as significant experience in policy and management. In much of this work, she draws on her qualifications including Bachelor of Education,Bachelor of Applied Science in Aboriginal Community Management and Development and a PostGraduate 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 2008 national Deadlys Awards in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health 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, was inducted to the WA Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012, 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 June 2012 Colleen was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to tertiary education through administrative and research roles, to the advancement of the rights of Indigenous people, particularly in the areas of social welfare, law and justice and children's health.
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