Human rights and international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth, says that Australia's appointment to the UN Human Rights Council gives the country an opportunity to examine its own human rights record.
An Advisor for the Cape York Partnership, and Chairman of Good to Great Schools Australia, Mr Pearson will be based at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.
Hailing from the Guugu Yimidhirr community of Hope Vale, Mr Pearson has spent decades advancing reform on native title, economic development and social policy for the people in Cape York Peninsula.
As part of his Fellowship, he will be involved as a student mentor and co-supervisor, provide input into the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research agenda for the School, convene a number of seminars relating to scaling school reform and undertake his own research into the area.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, said he was looking forward to the contribution Mr Pearson would make to the University. “His legacy and experience across Indigenous rights, law, policy and education are truly outstanding. We’re excited to welcome Noel Pearson to the University and we are looking forward to the positive contribution he will make to our broader University community.”“I’m very much looking forward to my time at the University, and the opportunity to make a significant contribution on a topic close to my heart: education,” said Mr Pearson.
Professor David Beckett, Acting Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, said the Graduate School was looking forward to working closely with Mr Pearson and learning from his leadership.
“Mr Pearson is an authoritative voice at the forefront of Indigenous education debates. This appointment locates these debates appropriately and will enrich the development of our teaching and research, in Indigenous education and broader policy areas.”
Founded in 1997, the Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowships provide a residency for distinguished public intellectuals to contribute to the public life of the University.
Mr Pearson joins a distinguished group that has previously included Dr Fiona Stanley, Mr Petro Georgiou, Professor Kate Auty, Dr David Kemp and Ms Maxine McKew. Earlier this year the University award Vice-Chancellor Fellowships to science communicator Margaret Wertheim and journalist Jim Middleton.
They join one of Australia’s largest gatherings of public intellectuals around the University’s Parkville campus, which includes peers such as Peter Singer, Ross Garnaut, Stuart McIntyre and Tim Flannery.
Mr Pearson’s fellowship will run until July 2016.