Swinburne University of Technology is pleased to announce that Professor John Evans has been appointed as the University’s inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Engagement (PVC IE).
Professor Evans will be responsible for leading, guiding and governing the strategic direction of Swinburne in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives and strategies.
This newly created position will drive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nation-building agendas to embed knowledges across research, teaching and learning, student services and employment at Swinburne.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Global and Community Engagement, Dr Andrew J Smith, welcomed the announcement.
“Professor Evans has had an exceptional career in research and teaching, with a strong background in industry and community engagement,” Dr Smith said.
“I look forward to working with Professor Evans to further increase understandings of critical importance to Swinburne and other organisations of self-determination, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, and cultural safety,” he said.
Professor Evans said he was proud to be joining a university with a long-standing commitment to advancing reconciliation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander matters.
“Through the leadership of the Moondani Toombadool Centre, Swinburne had demonstrated deep and meaningful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and worked to ensure Swinburne is a culturally safe place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students, alumni and partners,” Professor Evans said.
“I am looking forward to establishing and further strengthening relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations, industry, higher education, vocational education, and governments to continue Swinburne’s national leadership,” he said.
Swinburne is the first Australian university to achieve an 'Elevate' status Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Significant achievements from the 2017–2019 RAP included establishing the Moondani Toombadool Centre, hosting the inaugural National RAP Conference and joining 13 other Elevate RAP organisations to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which was one of the guiding documents behind the 2020–2023 Elevate RAP.
The PVC IE portfolio includes the Moondani Toombadool Centre, as well as having oversight of a range of Indigenous strategies, including;
- the Indigenous Teaching and Learning Strategy
- the Indigenous Research Strategy, and
- the Indigenous Employment Strategy.
Professor Evans will work closely with the Executive Director (Reconciliation Strategy and Leadership), Professor Andrew Gunstone. Professor Gunstone will remain responsible for reconciliation and the RAP, as well as the newly created National Centre for Reconciliation Practice.
Professor Evans is currently the Professor Indigenous Health Education at the University of Technology Sydney and will commence at Swinburne on 18 April 2022.