Last night at the 2015 Australian Awards for University Teaching, held at Parliament House, ANU College of Law Senior Lecturer and Indigenous academic advisor Dr Asmi Wood received the prestigious Neville Bonner Award for Indigenous Education.
The Australian Awards for University Teaching are presented by the Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) and recognise significant contributions to the quality of student learning.
The award citation states that “Dr Asmi Wood has transformed the ANU’s Indigenous Law Program, moving it from a zero percentage graduation rate to a 94% graduation rate. Dr Wood has a great ability to inspire and motivate his students. His academic support is matched by the care he takes in supporting them beyond the classroom, including involvement with their families, schools and their cultural activities”
Dean of the ANU College of Law, Professor Stephen Bottomley is immensely proud that Dr Wood has been honoured, and said ”the award recognises the truly great work that Dr Wood continues to do with our Indigenous students.”
“The completion rates for ANU Law Indigenous students is now amongst the highest in the country, and that is largely due to Dr Woods immense effort and dedication.”.
Dr Asmi Wood has been an Academic Advisor to Indigenous students at the ANU College of Law since 2002. His role has special carriage for teaching and mentoring Indigenous law students by providing individualised academic and pastoral support, in addition to the normal academic duties of teaching and research.
Prior to teaching at the ANU College of Law, Dr Wood worked in private practice and in government, both in Australia and overseas, and is still a practising barrister and solicitor in the ACT.
Thanks to Dr Wood’s leadership, the ANU College of Law strives to improve awareness of Indigenous issues in all law students, and to provide academic, pastoral and financial support to Indigenous students by working closely with various partners.
- We partner with the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre, part of the Division of Student Life at ANU to provide an academic advice and support scheme for Indigenous law students.
- We facilitate an Indigenous legal employment program to encourage private sector law firms to employ undergraduate Indigenous law students during their studies, under the Commonwealth National Indigenous Cadetship Program.
- We provide financial assistance to enable law students to undertake Regional Rural and Remote placements, partnering with the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC).
- We demonstrate an active commitment to the Aurora Native Title Internship Program as our students make up a large cohort of the placement winners each year. The internship introduces law students and graduates to career opportunities in native title, policy development, human rights, social justice and Indigenous affairs.
- We collaborate in a number of teaching and research activities with the National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS). The NCIS Director, Professor Mick Dodson, is a Professor of Law at the ANU College of Law. The centre promotes and initiates cross-disciplinary research, teaching and engagement in a wide range of areas of relevance to Indigenous Australians including the Annual Reconciliation Lecture.
ANU also offers a wide range of Indigenous scholarships, including the Freilich Indigenous Student Scholarship in Law to enable people in the Indigenous Community to attend law school, and the Indigenous Students Practical Legal Training Scholarship to provide financial support to Indigenous law students to enable them to undertake Practical Legal Training (PLT) in order to be admitted to practice.
ANU College of Law warmly welcomes and actively supports and encourages Indigenous students to study law, via online delivery, or on-campus here in the nation’s capital.
BY OLIVIA WENHOLZ