NSW Australian of the Year, Professor Larissa Behrendt, has been named the first Chair of Indigenous Research at UTS.
The Indigenous rights lawyer, academic and author has led research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning since joining UTS ten years ago as the University's first Professor of Law and Indigenous Studies.
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne said that in that time Professor Behrendt had built a national profile as both a leading researcher and powerful advocate in Indigenous politics, education and culture.
"The establishment of the Chair of Indigenous Research provides new focus for Jumbunna and UTS in promoting Indigenous research and Indigenous researchers, particularly in the legal arena," Professor Milbourne said.
"The Chair will be responsible for Indigenous research leadership across UTS."
Professor Milbourne said UTS was backing the Chair of Indigenous Research with an investment of at least $1 million over its first five years.
Professor Behrendt said she was honoured to accept the appointment, which builds on a long-term UTS commitment to developing research on Indigenous issues and Indigenous research capacity.
"While we have a focus on Indigenous legal issues, Jumbunna undertakes a range of research that seeks both to improve the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous communities and to empower them."
Apart from being named NSW Australian of the Year last November, Professor Behrendt has a long list of achievements, including being NAIDOC Indigenous Person of the Year for 2009.
She is the author of several books on Indigenous legal issues and an acclaimed novelist. Her first novel Home won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer's Prize. Her second novel Legacy was released last October.