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Yorta Yorta professor Julie Andrews receives Medal of the Order of Australia

Giovanni Torre -

Professor Julie Andrews, Academic Director of Indigenous Research at La Trobe University, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) (General Division) in the King's Birthday 2023 Honours List.

The Yorta Yorta professor is a tireless supporter of Indigenous communities, a distinguished academic and graduate of La Trobe University. She is currently leading the development of the La Trobe University Indigenous Research Centre.

La Trobe University Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Susan Dodds said Professor Andrews' contribution to her field has been as significant as her ongoing dedication to the University.

"It's wonderful to be celebrating Professor Andrews' outstanding contribution to Indigenous studies, to First Nations communities and for her unwavering commitment to cultural education," Professor Dodds said.

"Professor Andrews is a world-leading academic with deep Aboriginal community connections, sharing and preserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity through her work."

Professor Julie Andrews said higher education has opened the doors for so many First Nations people.

"It is a great honour to be recognised for my work with my People. Over the years I've observed my People go from strength to strength because of education," Professor Andrews said.

"My Yorta Yorta family have instilled within me the values of education and that is what guides me today. I dedicate this honour to my mother, Leah Andrews (nee Briggs). Not all of our people can succeed in higher education and that's the key to understanding and developing other pathways for them to advance."

In the 1970s Professor Andrews' mother enrolled her at the Black Community School in Townsville, Queensland, established by Eddie (Koiki) and Bonita Mabo.

"I had the privilege of learning about culture and identity in a school environment from Uncle Eddie and Aunty Netta. I've carried forward with me all the cultural teachings from my Elders to this day and will continue to do so," Professor Andrews said.

Professor Andrews completed her PhD in 2015, titled Where's all the community? Kinship, mobility and identity revisited in Aboriginal Melbourne.

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