The contributions to Indigenous education of Aunty Anne Leisha have been recognised today (Thurs) at a World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) Awards Conferral Ceremony.
Former Governor General the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO hosted the prestigious ceremony at Hymba Yumba School in Brisbane where Dr Hohaia Collier, Chancellor of WINU and past Executive Co-Chair of WINHEC, conferred the International Elders Award on the Elder in Residence at Griffith’s Logan campus.
Aunty Anne was joined by Professor Boni Robertson, Director, Indigenous Community Engagement at Griffith University, for the special occasion.
“I’m both shocked and delighted, and genuinely very honoured to have received this award,” Aunty Anne said. “I firmly believe there should be more Elders whose wealth of knowledge is used to greater advantage in our education curriculums.”
Aunty Anne paid tribute to Griffith University for its ongoing support of Indigenous education on both domestic and international fronts, and described the award as an endorsement of this commitment.
The WINHEC Award recognised the immense contributions Aunty Anne has made to the advancement of Indigenous education in Australian education through transformational leadership, diligence and innovative spirit as an Elder.
Members of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) nominated Aunty Anne for the award in recognition of her efforts over a sustained period of time through Griffith University and her engagement in WINHEC.
Aunty Anne is also the co-chair of the Griffith Council of Elders and the COOEE Indigenous Family and Community Education Centre in Cleveland.
Recently, the centre’s Pathways program – set up by local Elders and Griffith University – won the inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander category at the 2018 Mental Health Week Awards for its holistic work addressing the emotional and educational wellbeing of First Peoples youth in the Redlands prior to, during and after their enrolment at Griffith.
WINHEC was launched in 2002 in Canada heralding a new era in higher education for First Peoples. Each year it recognises Indigenous educators, scholars, Knowledge Holders/Elders who have been inspirational leaders in education in member countries of WINHEC.