Curtin University raises flag in honour of Indigenous culture


Honoured: Darren Garvey says it is special to be acknowledged.
       Picture: Jon Hewson
Honoured: Darren Garvey says it is special to be acknowledged.        Picture: Jon Hewson

CURTIN University marked the beginning of Naidoc Week at a flag-raising ceremony.

Indigenous Australian Cultural Studies lecturer and recent PhD recipient Darren Garvey, the first Torres Strait |Islander to receive a PhD at the university, raised the flag.

Mr Garvey arrived at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies from Cairns 20 years ago at a time when there were few indigenous psychologists.

His PhD on how mental health professionals, students and indigenous people construct the arena of indigenous mental health and negotiate their participation in it was recently completed.

“Being the first Torres Strait Islander to get a PhD (at Curtin) has been pointed out to me more by others,” Mr Garvey said.

“It is special to be acknowledged as such and to join the growing number of indigenous people with a PhD in Australia.

“I do want to be a good example to others and I am glad to raise the flag.

“It’s a great honour and something to be taken seriously.”

Naidoc Week, dedicated to celebrating the culture, traditions, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, has been recognised |nationally since 1957.

“The Torres Strait Islander presence and recognition in lots of areas of life are not prominent and I think within the context of the university Naidoc Week is important to celebrate,” Mr Garvey said.

Naidoc Week runs until July 10.