University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Mark Scott said he was delighted Professor Barrett had accepted the appointment.
“This is a sector-leading role for the University of Sydney and one that clearly demonstrates our emphatic commitment to delivering the One Sydney, Many People strategy across every facet of our institution,” he said.
Professor Barrett sees great potential for the University and its Indigenous strategy.
“One Sydney, Many People can effect social and cultural change through fostering relationships between the various parts of our University to engage and deliver our Indigenous strategy. Significantly, we are beginning to see the impact of a focus on key priorities and realistic implementation of plans to deliver One Sydney Many People, and I am proud to be a part of it,” Professor Barrett said.
Working under the guidance of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, the newly-created position places the University of Sydney at the forefront of Indigenous leadership within the higher education sector.
In line with the University’s commitment to One Sydney, Many People Strategy 2021-2024, the role will support opportunities for higher education for Indigenous students, as well as Indigenous contributions to education and research. It will also grow engagement between the Indigenous Strategy and Services (ISS) portfolio and the academy as the University collectively delivers on the objectives of One Sydney, Many People and its commitment to achieve parity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students.
The role takes full advantage of Professor Barrett’s breadth of work and deep experience at the University of Sydney, recently as Director of the National Centre for Cultural Competence (NCCC), previously as the Director of the University’s Culture Strategy, and prior to that her role as Pro Dean, Academic in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). Core to her professional history has been involvement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, colleagues and leaders, in teaching, research, external engagement and leadership roles in the arts and cultural sectors.
Professor Barrett’s research profile and professional external engagements over the past three decades within the cultural sector reflects her deep commitment to the knowledges, beliefs, arts, laws and customs of Indigenous communities in Australia. Professor Barrett’s motivation to apply for the role was informed by her commitment to the work of the Indigenous Strategy and Services portfolio, her strong support of its values and her demonstrated capacity to lead the work for which this role is responsible.
Professor Barrett well understands the interconnected nature of this role within the University and how it functions across disciplines and links with external partners, existing and potential. She looks forward to commencing the work of the PVC-I (Academic) in all its complexities and challenges.
Professor Barrett is of Dhanggati heritage from the Macleay River region in northern NSW and has worked in various roles in the University of Sydney since 2000, becoming Professor of Museum and Heritage Studies in January 2020. She will hold both the role of Director of the NCCC and the PVC-I role.