Indigenous Alumnus of the Year
Asmi Wood has been awarded the 2020 ANU Indigenous Alumnus of the Year for his profound effect on informing public policy on Indigenous affairs through research and educating the next generation.
His research has focused on Indigenous people and their singular interactions under Anglo-Australian legal tradition. The Australian Parliament, government agencies, community organisations, schools and Indigenous groups have used Asmi's work to seek clarity on Indigenous issues.
Asmi believes it is important for students and legal practitioners to understand the different experiences that different groups - particularly Indigenous people - have with Australia's legal system.
"Australia's Indigenous people have a very particular history. We were written out of history and this has had an unfortunate impact on the evolution of our nation state," said Asmi.
"Our lawyers, our students go on to become important figures in the country. They can only gain a better, truer and unvarnished understanding of history by having the opportunity to think about, argue, discuss, accept or reject what they are taught.
"Once they have deeply thought and processed these ideas, to be able to do that for five years at a place like ANU polishes their thinking processes and skills."
Asmi says his experience at ANU set him up for a lifelong journey of learning.
"ANU is a single campus which is pretty open, relatively small, and gives you an opportunity to engage with people, not just in your own discipline but from a diverse range of opportunities, backgrounds, and interests, who are open to engaging in all sorts of conversations and discussions.
"I have had the opportunity at ANU to mix with Aboriginal people from all over the country and see them blossom into beautiful young men and women, who go out into the country and change people's perceptions of who we are as people."