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Awarded for service to Education and Training, service to Aboriginal Affairs
Entered on roll: 2006
Patsy Cameron is an Aboriginal Elder who has consistently worked towards improvement in opportunities and achievements in Aboriginal education during the past 30 years. Born in Launceston, Patsy grew up on Flinders Island and still has strong cultural and spiritual connections to the island.
As the inaugural member for Tasmania on the National Aboriginal Education Committee, Patsy established the Tasmanian Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (TAECG), which later became incorporated, and is now known as TAEA.
Patsy has had a long and impressive association with the University of Tasmania. She was involved in the establishment of the Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education (CARE), which is now known as the Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education. She was deputy head of the Riawunna Centre in Launceston for a number of years. Significant achievements during this time included the development and implementation of Aboriginal Studies as a major course, guest lecturing in several faculties at the University and assisting in the increase of access, participation and success for Aborigines in higher education.
Another key initiative at the University of Tasmania Patsy has been involved with is teaching the Cultural Studies and Development unit in the Murina program which offers a pathway course for Aboriginal people who want to move into undergraduate degree courses.
In her former role of Aboriginal Employment Strategy coordinator, Patsy worked diligently to promote the employment of Aborigines statewide at the University of Tasmania. In this role Patsy also provided direct assistance to the development and delivery of Aboriginal cultural safety training to staff and students, and the general community.
Patsy has helped establish other Aboriginal organisations and events such as the Flinders Island Aboriginal Association, as well as displays at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and the Aboriginal garden and sculptures at the University of Tasmania, Launceston campus. As an Aboriginal Elder, Patsy believes it is important to pass on her knowledge of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture and history to other Aboriginal people, and actively endeavours to do so.