UQ PhD candidate is National NAIDOC 2021 Scholar of the Year

3 December 2021

Congratulations to UQ PhD Candidate Sasha Purcell on being named the National NAIDOC 2021 Scholar of the Year for her work connecting her alma mater, The University of Queensland, and the Torres Strait Islands.  

The Torres Strait Islander woman was among 10 NAIDOC Award winners recognised in early December.

Sasha is currently at New York University as a NYU Human Rights Scholar. She completes her Fulbright Scholarship at the end of this month and will return to UQ to continue her PhD in 2022.

The awardee is also completing a large research project on climate change, something that stands to disproportionately affect her ancestral lands.

The award announcement recognises that Sasha has been at pains to include the community in all aspects of her research, and is passionate about advocating for Indigenous climate rights. 

She has an "unending" passion for human rights, and has a wish to represent Indigenous issues at the United Nations.

Sasha is a PhD candidate with UQ's School of Social Science and a 2021 Fulbright Scholar.

As a Torres Strait Islander, Sasha has a particular interest in the preservation and advancement of Indigenous human rights and was admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2016.

She is also admitted in New South Wales and the High Court of Australia and has acted as a delegate for the United Nations Association of Australia - QLD Division (UNAA).

Sasha has stated her ultimate goal "to develop and implement law that reflects true and accessible justice and equality and work for the United Nations advocating for Indigenous people".

She has also launched her own company where she will be consulting on projects relating to Indigenous social innovation and research and advice.

Some information in this article was sourced from the NITV (National Indigenous Television) website.

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