Honorary Doctorate (April 2022)
Aunty Judi Wickes was named an Honorary Doctorate in April 2022 for recognition of her continued service to the USC community in supporting, and educating staff, students and the wider public on the experience of Australian First Nations peoples’, and her ongoing commitment to community reconciliation, Indigenous Education advocacy and important work on the Stolen Generation and Aboriginal Exemption Certificate.
Aunty Judi Wickes is a respected and beloved local Aboriginal Elder on the Sunshine Coast who has had an accomplished career as an educator, researcher, and human services professional.
“Education is the way” was a favourite saying of Aunty Judi’s grandmother Daisy. She passed this belief in the importance of education onto Aunty Judi. Having completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and then a Master of Arts here at USC, Aunty Judi is the first Indigenous Australian scholar to undertake comprehensive study of Aboriginal Exemption. She has, and continues to publish widely and present both nationally and internationally.
Aunty Judi has provided ongoing support to the USC community, educating staff, and students in the Schools of Social Science, Education, Health, Nursing, and Law on the history and experience of Australian First Nations peoples’. She generously gives her time and knowledge through volunteering, working groups and committee participation at USC.
Over the past 20 years, Aunty Judi has been actively involved in social justice campaigns to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Southeast Queensland. As a qualified Social Worker, she has been instrumental in the establishment and sustainability of local Indigenous community organisations across the regions.