Professor Gary Thomas - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Professor Gary Thomas

PhD WINU., PostgradDipEd Qld., BA Qld.

  • Dean, Indigenous Education and Engagement
+61 7 5456 5887
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Professor Gary Thomas

Professor Gary Thomas is USC’s inaugural Dean, Indigenous Education and Engagement.

Professor Thomas has worked at the University of Southern Queensland, the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, the Queensland University of Technology and the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. He has held academic, professional and senior executive roles.

Professor Thomas has contributed to Indigenous Education at both national and international levels over many years. He was elected Chair of the National Indigenous Higher Education Network (NIHEN) from 2005 – 2008 and was appointed National Secretary in 2012 when this network incorporated to become the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC).

As a member of the Academic and Research & Journal Working Groups for the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC), he has been part of the editorial team for the ERA rated WINHEC Journal since 2007. He has been instrumental in the development of the first taught programs of the World Indigenous Nations University.

Professor Thomas was an Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) Honorary Auditor and is currently a Registered Expert for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority (TEQSA).

In 2016, Professor Thomas became the first Indigenous Australian to be awarded Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK).

As the Dean, Indigenous Education and Engagement, Professor Thomas provides leadership across the university for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues related to the student experience, learning and teaching, research and community engagement.


  • PFHEA (Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

Research areas

  • Education
  • Indigenous education
  • Indigenous knowledges and perspectives