With an international reputation as a leading Indigenous Australian scholar, proud Wiradjuri woman, Professor Michelle Trudgett is the founding Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Technology Sydney.
As one of Australia’s leading researchers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education, she is passionate about developing strategies to assist tertiary students to receive culturally appropriate support.
Born in Dubbo regional NSW and raised in Sydney, Trudgett admits she wasn't top of the class in school.
"I was that kid that got the report card that always said 'should focus a bit, apply herself a bit more'. Certainly back in high school, I never would have thought that I'd end up being an academic," she told NITV.
However, once she completed her secondary education, she persevered to university.
"I said, 'I'll toss a coin. Whatever comes down is the university that I'll apply to go to'. I came up heads, which meant that I was applying to the University of New England in Armidale.
"I was 21 on the first day of university and I ended up absolutely loving it."
Then came a long journey of learning, which included three degrees and finally, a Doctorate of Education.
Trudgett's thesis looked into the support produced to Indigenous post-grad students in Australia. Because of her vision, many teachers and policy developers now specialise in Indigenous Education and a number of Indigenous graduates have gone on to doctoral research.
The Australian Research Council recently awarded Michelle a grant which will reshape the way universities currently do business with Indigenous Australians, through focusing on Indigenous leadership in higher education.
The National NAIDOC Awards 2018 broadcasts live on NITV (Ch. 34), Friday 13 July at 7.30pm and will be available On Demand after broadcast.
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