TWO indigenous West Australian women were among the three honorary award recipients at a graduation ceremony for Edith Cowan University.
Aboriginal leader June Oscar was recognised for her work with health and social welfare programs, particularly in remote communities of WA.
Her leadership in fighting for alcohol restrictions in Fitzroy Crossing in 2007 highlighted the number of children with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, generating research and practical solutions.
ECU Vice Chancellor Steve Chapman said Ms Oscar was “creating a positive future for the people of Fitzroy Crossing, the Kimberley Valley and beyond”.
Patricia Anderson was awarded for being a powerful advocate for change, and highlighting the rights and needs of indigenous children.
She has published essays, papers and articles, and co-authored the Report of the Board of Inquiry into the Protection of Aboriginal Children from Sexual Abuse.
She has also been the chairwoman of the Lowitja Institute – Australia’s national institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research – since January 2010 and involved with the institute’s predecessor organisations since 1997.
“With her belief in humanity, in fostering understanding, compassion and honesty between people, and in dedicating her life to advancement, Ms Anderson has helped change the Australian landscape for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Professor Chapman said.
Michael Millward, who was also awarded, is a leader in oncology and an international expert on the management of thoracic malignancies and melanoma.
He is also the Foundation Chair of Clinical Cancer Research at The University of WA and a consultant medical oncologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
“ECU academics and the ECU Melanoma Research Group have benefited from, and been empowered by, Professor Millward’s willingness and openness to collaborate and associate with them in their ongoing research work,” Professor Chapman said.