“My life was shaped in the days I spent at the South Australian Institute of Technology (SAIT). At that time in the early ‘70s, there were only 18 known Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people studying at university. Now there are more than 25,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduates. We have come a long way in closing the gap. Individuals can’t do it alone but collectively we will make a difference.”
A graduate of UniSA’s antecedent institution, SAIT, Professor Tom Calma has dedicated his life to improving the lives of Indigenous Australians, being involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, state, national and international level for more than 40 years.
His 2005 Social Justice Report focusing on Indigenous health equality was the catalyst for the Close the Gap campaign.
Now Chancellor of the University of Canberra, he is the first Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander man in 164 years to hold the position of Chancellor at an Australian university.
Prof Calma was one of the inaugural winners of the UniSA Alumni Awards.