Supporting Indigenous Australians in higher degree research

10 April 2020

It's a small contribution but one that will, hopefully, allow Indigenous people to reach their potential via better education.

The Simon Fenwick Award for Indigenous Research supports the Higher Degree Research Program at the ANU National Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS).

As a founding partner of International Value Advisers, Simon Fenwick spent 20 years working overseas. After returning to Australia, he was dismayed by the ongoing problems facing Indigenous Australians.

"What struck me, on my return, was the lack of improvement in two decades for Indigenous people across many metrics - health, longevity and education."

The 2019 awardee, Adam Delaney, is an NCIS Higher Degree Research scholar at the start of his PhD journey. The award helped Adam attend a three-day workshop, Global Common Roots, Common Futures Network: Indigenous Governance. The workshop was hosted by the Centre for Maori Law and Governance (CLG) at University of Waikato,
New Zealand (Aotearoa).

"My participation in this high-level workshop was an honour and has provided me with a rare opportunity to converse with some of the leading thinkers and practitioners of Indigenous governance in the world," said Adam.

At the workshop, Adam learnt about the latest trends, solutions and challenges in Indigenous self-governance, a topic relevant to his PhD on the Indigenous Motu Koita governance in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Simon hopes that his gift will allow NCIS researchers to focus on their work and improve outcomes for Indigenous people.

"It's a small contribution but one of a number of philanthropies I'm involved in that will, hopefully, allow Indigenous people to reach their potential via better education. Without education, I fear more waste and short-term solutions that treat the symptom and not the cause."

Simon's generous philanthropic contributions to Indigenous education also include a transformative donation of $1.34 million to the Brisbane Grammar School.


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