To coincide with National Reconciliation Week, we are very pleased to announce that Professor Tom Calma AO, Chancellor of the University of Canberra, has accepted the position of Patron of the Winston Churchill Trust.
Professor Calma’s patronage stems from his extensive interest in Indigenous studies research, with particular focus on health, mental health, suicide prevention, education, Indigenous language preservation and economic development; topics many of our Churchill Fellows are engaged in.
Professor Calma is an Aboriginal Elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group whose traditional lands are south-west of Darwin and on the Coburg Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia, respectively.
Professor Calma has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for 45 years. He is currently on a number of boards and committees focussed on the betterment of rural and remote Australia.
Professor Calma is a strong advocate for Indigenous rights and empowerment, and in addition to the Close the Gap Campaign, has been instrumental in the establishment of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, development of the inaugural National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy, and promotion of Justice Reinvestment.
We are certain that Professor Calma’s valuable contributions across our planned activities will encourage people and organisations to engage with the Churchill Trust in new and purposeful ways. Tom’s support is also anticipated to be highly beneficial in motivating people, especially Indigenous peoples, to apply for the Churchill Fellowship and in turn bring about vital positive change to our communities across Australia.