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7 – 14 July 2024
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Man stands in front of white screen

Professor Michael McDaniel

Scholar of the Year

Professor Michael McDaniel is a proud member of the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri Nation.

He has led a distinguished career in Indigenous higher education and has a record of service to the arts, culture and community which spans more than 30 years. 

At a young age Michael joined the 5th/7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Royal Australian Infantry Corp. He served in Australia and Malaysia and was awarded the Australian Defence medal and the Australian Service Medal.

Following his military service he embarked on a career in civil service and academia, in which he excelled.

Michael is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) and Director of Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney. He is also a Professor of Indigenous Education. 

Since his commencement at UTS there has been a tremendous increase in all Indigenous education and employment rates, including a 100% employment rate of Indigenous graduates within 3 months of graduation. As well as being the driving force behind UTS’s plan to establish Australia’s first Indigenous residential college. 

He is a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) and the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC).

Michael’s actions, reputation and achievements make him an inspirational role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian population.

Welcome to NAIDOC.

We acknowledge all First Peoples of the beautiful lands on which we live and celebrate their enduring knowledge and connections to Country. We honour the wisdom of and pay respect to Elders past and present.