AFL inclusion pioneer amongst Flinders University honours

Flinders University is presenting pioneering female AFL executive and 2021 South Australian of the Year Tanya Hosch with an Honorary Doctorate, one of four honorary awards conferred during December graduations, in recognition of her leadership and advocacy instilling transformative social policy in sport and the community.

Ms Hosch joins an esteemed group of recipients, including Adnyamathanha Elder Clifford Coulthard (Doctor of Letters honoris causa), National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre Executive Director, Professor Leonard Notaras AO (Doctor of the University) and Associate Professor Anton Lucas (Companion of the University), recognised for their contribution to community and embodying the values of courage, innovation, integrity and excellence that make Flinders a strong and distinctive institution.

As only the second female AFL executive and currently the AFL’s first Indigenous executive, Ms Hosch is transforming the AFL by advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, women, gender diverse Australians and the entire community in the sport.

Flinders has awarded Ms Hosch a Doctor of the University in appreciation of her numerous accomplishments across the AFL, including enabling women to seek redress for unacceptable behaviour, championing the first Indigenous player statue of Nicky Winmar alongside instigating a review of anti-vilification policy, helping secure an apology for Adam Goodes from the AFL, and delivering a new industry framework to help prevent racist treatment of players.

“In addition to her AFL role, she has a long and distinguished history in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy, advocacy, governance, and fundraising. In 2020, Tanya led a hugely successful social media campaign aimed at informing and protecting Indigenous communities from COVID‐19,” Chancellor Gerlach says.

Flinders University Chancellor Stephen Gerlach says seldom awarded, Flinders University Honorary degrees are presented to distinguished members of the community, whose extraordinary leadership has changed lives.

“Coming from all walks of life, recipients have each made their mark in their own unique way, but all have something in common, and their communities are better off thanks to their impact. I would like to congratulate our deserving recipients upon these distinguished honours for their commitment to their crafts, and lasting impact their dedication has made,” Chancellor Gerlach says.

Working tirelessly for 40 years to record and conserve the cultural heritage of the Flinders Ranges, Cliff Coulthard’s efforts are being recognised with the Doctor of Letters honoris causa, for his focus on mentoring young people and strong interest in sharing deep cultural knowledge.

One of the first Aboriginal Heritage Rangers appointed to the SA Aboriginal and Historical Relics Unit, Mr Coulthard has long been known for his support of research teams in the Flinders Ranges, including archaeologists and rock art researchers from Flinders University currently working at Warratyi rock-shelter.

“Cliff Coulthard has shown a lifetime commitment to Adnyamathanha scholarship and sustained interest in collaborating with and assisting a wide range of researchers. This is alongside his continued mentorship of early career Adnyamathanha students and a pervasive interest in sharing his knowledge with others. On behalf of Flinders University, I congratulate him on receiving the Doctor of Letters honoris causa,” says Chancellor Gerlach.

Also recognised at graduation ceremonies are Professor Len Notaras AO (Doctor of the University) and Associate Professor Anton Lucas (Companion of the University).

Professor Notaras is a globally renowned leader in emergency medicine who has been awarded for his extraordinary impact on Australian healthcare, particularly within the Northern Territory, as well as supporting Australia’s neighbours in times of critical need.

Chair of the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Strategic Advisory Group with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Professor Notaras is currently the Executive Director of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) and has previously served as Chief Executive of the NT Department of Health, and Medical Superintendent and General Manager of the Royal Darwin Hospital.

Professor Notaras played a fundamental role as the hospital dealt with a number of crises, in particular the 2002 Bali bombings, jointly coordinating the medical assistance when the Royal Darwin Hospital was inundated with nearly 100 victims.

“Professor Notaras was also pivotal in the development of the NT Clinical School, the forerunner of Flinders University’s incredibly successful Northern Territory Medical program which is transforming the medical landscape by training doctors on-country in the Territory including Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander graduates. Today we recognise Professor Notaras for his dedicated service to the Australian community through health services, especially in critical care and trauma response” Chancellor Gerlach says.

Companion of the University awards are bestowed for conspicuous and continued involvement in the promotion of the academic purposes of the University. Associate Professor Anton Lucas, a long-standing Flinders staff member and now status holder, is being honoured as a passionate advocate for improving Australia-Indonesia engagement, including driving Flinders Indonesian language program, promoting in-country learning experiences and elevating public understanding of Indonesian society.

A full list of Flinders University honorary doctorates is available here.

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