Professor Jackson Pulver is an Aboriginal woman and the first known Aboriginal person to receive a PhD in medicine at the University of Sydney. Her family come from areas including South Western NSW and Northern Victoria, Northern NSW, Eastern South Australia, as well as from Wales and Scotland.
An accomplished advisor, researcher and educator – particularly in the areas of Aboriginal health, data collection, analysis and management and strategy – Professor Jackson Pulver is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor Engagement; Pro Vice-Chancellor Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Leadership; and Provost Parramatta South Campus at Western Sydney University.
Among many achievements, Professor Jackson Pulver played a key role in the development of a designated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health unit, Muru Marri, in the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW and was the inaugural Chair of Aboriginal Health. She cites one of her proudest achievements as co-founding the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Program at UNSW, offering residential scholarships to Indigenous students studying medicine and other disciplines.
University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence said he was delighted Professor Jackson Pulver had accepted the role.
“The selection panel and I have been enormously impressed with Lisa’s commitment to embed belonging and key Aboriginal frameworks and world views into initiatives across the education, research and government sectors, as well as into the RAAF where she is a specialist reserve member,” he said.
“This commitment dates back to her medical student days where she was a founding member of Sydney University’s Wokal Kangara (meaning ‘one blood’) Aboriginal Students Association through to more recent membership on the NHMRC’s committee for improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and current roles with institutions such as the Australian Medical Council, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Universities Australia.”
Professor Jackson Pulver’s leadership and program and policy development skills have enabled the advancement of Aboriginal peoples as well as the broader academy of students and staff at the institutions she has contributed to. We look forward to her bringing that invaluable strength and sense of purpose to Sydney.
Professor Jackson Pulver said she was looking forward to re-joining the University of Sydney in October.
“The University of Sydney gave me the opportunity to enter tertiary education; I was the first in my family to do so,” she said.
I’m honoured to be able to return in a very different capacity and give back to the University’s staff and students in this way.
Dr Spence also thanked Professor Juanita Sherwood for her superb work while acting in the position since September 2017.
“The University owes Juanita an enormous debt of gratitude for the grace and leadership she has shown during this time,” he said.
“Her achievements include presiding over the National Centre for Cultural Competence conference; a substantial review of Indigenous Strategy and Services programs; significant stakeholder relationship management, including on the Western Sydney strategy; international, community and academic engagement; and continuation with her own research while simultaneously leading the National Centre for Cultural Competence.
“Professor Sherwood was also instrumental in putting cultural competence of both staff and students on the strategic agenda at the University, introduced new inclusive language guidelines for staff and forged closer ties between the NCCC and the University. Professor Sherwood will return to her substantive role as Director of the National Centre for Cultural Competence and we thank her for her leadership.”