Indigenous higher education leaders join Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University is pleased to announce two new senior leadership appointments, with Professor Susan Page joining the University as its Director of Indigenous Learning and Teaching, and Professor Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews appointed as the Director of Indigenous Research.

Professors Page and Bodkin-Andrews are both highly-respected higher education leaders and researchers, bringing a wealth of collective experience to the roles.

Professor Page is an Aboriginal scholar, originally from Queensland, with over 25 years’ experience in the higher education sector. Her academic work and research focuses on Indigenous peoples' experience of learning and academic work in tertiary education, and student learning in Indigenous Studies.

She is currently with the University of Technology Sydney, where she is Associate Dean (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) and Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges. Her wide-ranging role includes leading and contributing to various national committees, collaborating with government, implementing university-wide strategic projects and engaging with the local Indigenous community.

Professor Page will commence her role at Western Sydney University in July.

“I am excited to be joining Western Sydney University, and I look forward to working across the University community to develop a range of initiatives to enhance student learning. A key objective will be to work with Schools to implement a large-scale project to deeply embed Indigenous content across the curriculum, and ensuring that all students and staff have the opportunity to engage with and learn from Indigenous Knowledges,” said Professor Page.

Professor Bodkin-Andrews is from the D’harawal nation and grew up in Western Sydney. His research focuses on encapsulating and promoting Indigenous standpoints and perspectives across a range of disciplines, most notably education and psychology.

Currently with the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Technology Sydney, Professor Bodkin-Andrews has led numerous research grants investigating a range of topics including mental health, mentoring, identity, Traditional Knowledges, education, racism and bullying. His scholarly work has attracted numerous national and international awards.

Professor Bodkin-Andrews completed his undergraduate degree and PhD at Western Sydney University, and worked at the University as a Research Fellow from 2008 until 2014. He says he is looking forward to taking up his appointment in August.

“I am very much looking forward to returning to Western Sydney University to develop the Indigenous Research agenda, to empower the Aboriginal communities that the University should answer to, and to help the University become a national leader in Indigenous research. Part of that strategy includes attracting and supporting more Indigenous Higher Degree Research students and supporting their transition into valued Career Researchers and industry representatives, further developing our Indigenous scholars, and strengthening the Indigenous research capacity right across the University,” Professor Bodkin-Andrews said.

Professor Michelle Trudgett, acting Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Western Sydney University, says she is delighted to welcome Professors Page and Bodkin-Andrews to the University.

“On behalf of the University community, I warmly congratulate Susan and Gawaian on their appointments. They are both outstanding higher education leaders, who are passionate about expanding our knowledge and understanding of Indigenous matters and increasing Indigenous peoples’ participation in higher education,” said Professor Trudgett.

“Western Sydney has the largest Indigenous population in Australia, and our University plays a vital role to ensure this population is reflected across our own student and staff community. Together, Susan and Gawaian will help lead the implementation of our University’s Indigenous Strategy and work to strengthen Indigenous teaching and learning and research across the University. I look forward to working closely with them both.”


26 March 2021

Media Unit.