Traditional Larrakia welcome for CDU Indigenous leader  

[by Carl Pfeiffer]

Charles Darwin University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership and Regional Outreach Professor Reuben Bolt with Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks following the ceremony. Image: CDU

Larrakia custodians have performed a ceremony to officially welcome Professor Reuben Bolt as Charles Darwin University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership and Regional Outreach.

The custodians performed a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at CDU’s Casuarina campus in Darwin to welcome Professor Bolt to Larrakia land on August 24.

A descendant of the Yuin/Wandandian and Ngarigo peoples of the south coast of NSW, Professor Bolt took up his role earlier this year, however his official welcome was delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A scholar with close to 20 years’ teaching and research experience, Professor Bolt said the traditional welcome was extremely important for him.

“To be welcomed on Larrakia country in this way is very special,” he said.

“This is an experience that not many people have and I am humbled, to say the least.

“I am committed to informing the decision-making of the university, to achieve success in Indigenous tertiary education, that ultimately leads to better outcomes for Indigenous staff, students and stakeholders.”

Professor Bolt was the first person of Aboriginal heritage to graduate with a PhD from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences. He has convened more than 50 university courses across six higher education institutions in the Sydney region.

His research interests focus on identity issues, qualitative research methodologies, narrative analysis techniques and Indigenist research design.

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