Bringing four decades of hands-on knowledge and experience in First Nations affairs, The Australian National University welcomes Dr Jacqueline Huggins AM FAHA as an Honorary Professor in History.
Dr Huggins, a Bidjara/ Birri Gubba Juru woman, has enjoyed a stellar career across academic, corporate and social sectors. She is among the first First Nations historians in Australia.
From 2017 to 2019, she served as co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, a representative body of 10,000 members and 180 organisations providing a leading voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
She has also served as a Board member of the State Library of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, former Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia, Co-Commissioner for Queensland for the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children From Their Families, directed her own consulting firm, and was Deputy Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies at the University of Queensland.
Dr Huggins was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2001, recognising her significant service to Australia’s First Nations peoples, particularly in the areas of reconciliation, social justice, literacy and women's issues.
Dr Huggins was made a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities in 2007, one of the first First Nations scholars to receive the prestigious status.
She has written widely for history books and journals nationally and internationally such as Aboriginal Workers 1995 (and new edition 2021 )with Ann McGrath and Kay Saunders. Her books include Auntie Rita 1996, Sistergirl 1998 with Sistergirl new edition and Jack of Hearts: QX11594 due for publication early 2022.
She is currently Co-Chair of the Treaty Advancement Committee in Queensland and has contributed to numerous government enquiries and advisory committees, both state governments around Australia, the federal government and philanthropic organisations.
Dr Huggins stated: ‘I am honoured to receive this position in a leading University that elevates the scholarship and integrity of First Nations peoples.’
Joining ANU, Dr Huggins will provide guidance and strategic advice to the Research Centre for Deep History within the School of History.