Author profile: Dr Jackie Huggins AM

In 2001 Jackie Huggins was awarded an Order of Australia for her services to the Indigenous community, particularly for her work with reconciliation, literacy, women’s issues and social justice. In 2000 she was honoured with the Queensland Premier’s Millennium Award for Excellence in Indigenous Affairs.

Jackie is of the Bidjara (central Queensland) and Birri-Gubba Juru (north Queensland) peoples. She has several publications to her name, including Auntie Rita (with her mother Rita Huggins, 1994) and Sister Girl (1999).

Jackie is the Deputy Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the University of Queensland and is the former Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia; a director of the Telstra Foundation; director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Australian National University; member of the Indigenous Advisory Board of the Queensland Centre of Domestic and Family Violence Research, Central Queensland University. She is also an AFL Foundation Board member (2006) and a Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research WA and a Director on the Silver Lining Foundation. She is a former Council member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies; Co-Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Release Policy and Practice in the Queensland Prison System (2004).

Prior to these appointments, she was an executive member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (1994-2000); chair of the Queensland Domestic Violence Council (2001); Commissioner for Queensland for the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families (1997); and a member of the ATSIC Review Panel (2003); Board member of the Pacific Film and Television Corporation and Chair, National Steering Committee, Dare To Lead.

Jackie received a Doctor of the University honoris causa from the University of Queensland on 4 December 2006 and the position of Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences on 8 December 2006.  She was recently named University of Queensland Alumnus of the Year for 2007.