Nura Gili News Edition 27 - Page 6

Farewell to Professor Martin Nakata On April 6, a farewell was hosted at Balnaves Place for the Director of Nura Gili, Professor Martin Nakata, as he begins a new journey at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. A large number of both students and staff of UNSW gathered at Nura Gili to farewell and thank Professor Nakata for his devotion to the unit, since his arrival in 2010. The afternoon included a number of speeches from Michael Peachey, Professor Merlin Crossley and Dr. Reuben Bolt. Below is Dr. Reuben Bolt’s farewell speech, which managed to perfectly capture the appreciation that both staff and students have for Professor Nakata and all that he has achieved during his time at Nura Gili. Speech for Prof. Nakata’s Farewell By Dr Reuben Bolt (Acting Director, Nura Gili) Thanks Mick for the introduction. And thanks to Prof. Crossley for the kind words you have communicated here today. First and foremost I would like to extend a congratulations to you Prof. Nakata, on your PVC appointment at JCU. And on behalf of Nura Gili and UNSW, I’d like to extend an appreciation for your commitment to Nura Gili since 2010. On the one hand 2010 seems like such a long time ago. But on the other, it was only five and half years ago, which seems to have gone by so quickly. During this five year period there has 6 been one particular statement that I’d heard you make on several occasions. It’s a statement that I think is critically important. The statement is this: “The Indigenous student retention rate at UNSW is higher than the sector average”. This is a statistic that we can all be proud of – Nura Gili staff, UNSW staff and Indigenous students. But what does it mean? How significant is it? And what does it take to produce such a statistic? Well it takes a lot of hard work, but I don’t think we really put in enough thought to really appreciate the amount of work required. So to demonstrate what that might look like, let’s take a quick look at some of the achievements Nura Gili has enjoyed under Prof. Nakata’s directorship. Since taking up the Directorship in 2010 Prof. Nakata was tasked with providing new leadership, a new vision, a new strategy and most importantly, and perhaps most difficult, the implementation and management of the organisational change process; it’s a process that commonly occurs with new leadership. A key factor that marked this change was the establishment of our new location here; a prominent position, right in the middle of campus. It’s a space that Indigenous students call their own, and it is very well utilised. I‘d also like to make a special mention of Vicky Nakata’s contribution to Nura Gili. Vicky is not only a well-respected and dedicated researcher, but she is also a personal support person for Prof. Nakata. So I would like to thank you Vicky, for that. On a personal level, I have, on many occasions had depth conversations about our Indigenous studies research and teaching, and I have always been inspired by your well-considered approach to the various intellectual issues and debates within the discipline. So I think it’s the culmination of these elements of Nura Gili, that puts us in a good standing for the future, as we continue on our journey. This work is crucially important, particularly in the context of a country that is struggling to close the many gaps that currently exist. So when we The other key achievement really was the hear statements about high retention rates, we reconfiguration of the services, the should celebrate, and take a moment to really enhancement of the existing programs, as well consider the work it has taken to get to here. It’s as the creation of new programs. It’s all well been five years of dedicated work. Whilst it is and good to say you need the physical space, sad that you and Vicky are leaving, it is also and the right services. But these are redundant if exciting for JCU to have secured your services. you don’t have the right complement of staff with It’s an opportunity for you to replicate our the capacity to deliver the services. And so this success, in a regional community, which can no is the other achievement really; getting the right doubt only further benefit Indigenous complement of staff and being able to nurture communities. an organisational work culture that can thrive to achieve our goals and aspirations. And for Nura Before I finish I’d like to acknowle ͽ)ӊéձɔݽɬѡѕ)ѡѡȁ䁅ٕ́Ё9Ʉɥ)幅́ɕѥمՕ̸Q́)ȁѥɔe׊eٔեЁɕѥ́͡ݥѠ)ͽѕ䁍Սɔ)䰁Ʌ͕͍̰͡ѕ)ѥ́ѽɥɅ) Ёȁ9ɄѼ͠ݡЁЁ̰)ɽ͕̰ѕ%́Ց)ѡЁٕ͡ЁչЁѥ́ɕɭ)ɥձմЁU9M\ͥѕݥѠѡͥ)$ٔՉЁѡЁݔݽձЁѡٕЁمɥ́ɕ͕ɍɽ)ͥѥݔɔѽ䰁ݥѡЁAɽ9чe)ɽ́U9M\ѽɕͥѕ)٥ͥ݅ɐѡ͡)%́AՑ̰)ե=ѡͅѽAɽ9чe)䁉եɕȁٕ)ݽɬ́ͥȁѡɽ՝ѕȁхٽѕȁ)ѕѡЁ͡ɕ́ѡɅѥ́́)%͕́ѕɵѥ)9Ʉѡ%) ɔѡȁՍѥ͕ѽȁѡ)Q͔$ٔɔՍѼɔѡ9Ʉ)չ䰁ɔхѱ䰁ȁɅѥѼ%́AɽɅ́Uи'eѼͅ)ɅՅєͥЁյ́%)ѡԁȁȁ͕٥)Ց́مɥ̸͍́Q́ѡ́ɥѥѼ9ɄU9M\)ȁՑ́ѡѥѼѼѡȁՑ䰁Ʌձѥ́ѡ܁ɽѡ)ȁ嵕аݡɔѡ䁍ѥՔѼ)ȁѡɔ)ͥЁɥѥ̸)ȁIՉ )ѥɕѽȰ9Ʉ(((