Speakers announced for 2023

The Murru waaruu (On Track) Seminar Series

Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS

Vice-Chancellor & President
BS Phys, BS Astro, AM Astro, PhD Astro
The Vice-Chancellor and President is the leader and Chief Executive Officer of ANU.

The Vice-Chancellor provides executive leadership to the University and takes overall responsibility for delivering the ANU Strategy. He chairs key management committees including the University Senior Management Group and the ANU Executive, and is also a member of the ANU governing body, the Council. The Vice-Chancellor is the University’s primary representative to government and wider society, and to national and international organisations.

Professor Brian P. Schmidt was appointed the 12th Vice-Chancellor of ANU in January 2016.

Professor Schmidt is one of Australia’s most eminent scientists. Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, alongside many other academic awards and distinctions,  Professor Schmidt spent most of his academic career as an astrophysicist at the ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics before becoming Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Schmidt makes a significant contribution to public debate through the media, and via his membership of bodies including the Prime Minister’s National Science and Technology Council.

Professor Schmidt received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona in 1989, and completed his Astronomy Master’s degree (1992) and PhD (1993) at Harvard University. Under his leadership, in 1998, the High-Z Supernova Search team made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating. Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, The United States Academy of Science, and the Royal Society, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Professor Peter Yu AM

As Vice-President (First Nations) at ANU, Professor Yu leads the First Nations Portfolio, which works with colleagues across the University to ensure the ANU is a world leader in teaching and research of First Nations issues. The Portfolio also seeks to ensure that the University makes a leading contribution to national policy in the relationship between Indigenous Australians and the nation while ensuring relevant research impact in partnership with Indigenous communities.

Professor Yu is a Yawuru man from Broome in the Kimberley region in North West Australia with over 40 years of experience in Indigenous development and advocacy in the Kimberley and at the state, national and international level. Peter was a key negotiator on behalf of the Yawuru Native Title Holders with the Western Australian State Government over the 2010 Yawuru Native Title Agreement. Prior to joining ANU, Professor Yu was the Chief Executive Officer of the Yawuru Corporate Group.

Professor Yu has been an advocate for the social, cultural and economic advancement and well-being of Kimberley and other Aboriginal communities for his entire career. He has been instrumental in the development of many community-based organisations and initiatives which have had an enduring influence on the Kimberley region. He was Executive Director of the Kimberley Land Council during the 1990s and a member of the national leadership team negotiating the Federal Government’s response to the 1992 Mabo High Court judgement on Native Title.

His former roles include Chair for the Indigenous Reference Group to the Northern Ministerial Forum, Deputy Chair of the Indigenous Land Corporation, Chair of the WA Aboriginal Housing Board, a member of the Board of the WA Museum and the National Museum of Australia Board where he played a leading role the 2015-16 British Museum and NMA exhibitions of Australian Indigenous cultural and other objects. Professor Yu also served on the ANU Council from 2016-20.

In addition to his role at ANU, Professor Yu is currently a Director on the Board of Watertrust Australia, a Trustee of the Prince’s Trust Australia, and a member of the Jawun Board, the NAILSMA Board, and Chair of the Rio Tinto Australian Advisory Group.

Harold Calla

Harold Calla serves as the Executive Chair of the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB). As one of three institutions created under the Fiscal Management Act, FMB supports First Nations economic development by increasing access to capital markets and providing capacity development support to First Nations in the areas of financial administration law development, and optional certification of financial performance and governance systems.

A member of the Squamish Nation, Harold returned from many years focused on international business, to serve the Squamish Nation as a negotiator in the areas of economic development, land management and finance, and served eight years on the Squamish Council.  He has also acted as an advisor and an arbitrator for First Nations in Western Canada.

He was instrumental in the development of the First Nations Land Management ActFirst Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA), First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA), and the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act.  These optional legislative pieces allow First Nations on a sectorial basis the ability to move out from under the Indian Act.

Harold serves as the Executive Chair of the First Nations Financial Management Board, one of three fiscal institutions created under the FMA to support First Nations economic development, by supporting First Nations efforts to access the capital markets and by providing capacity development support to First Nations in the areas of financial administration law development and certification of their financial performance and financial management systems.

Harold is a member of the Board of Directors of Trans Mountain Corporation, as well as a member of the Joint Assembly of First Nations-Indigenous Services Canada Committee on Fiscal Relations. He is a former member of the Board of Fortis BC Inc. where he was the Chair of the Audit Committee.  He has also completed terms with the Boards of CMHC, Partnerships BC and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

Harold is a recipient of numerous awards in recognition of excellence in leadership.  In particular, the C.G.A. Association of Canada celebrating their 100th year in 2008 recognized Harold as one of 100 CGA’s who, in their view, over the 100 years have made a difference.  In August 2012 Harold was also awarded a fellowship by the C.G.A. Association of Canada.  Harold is also a member of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association and has been awarded the designation of Certified Aboriginal Financing Manager (CAFM).

Jamie Lowe

Jamie Lowe, a proud Gundjitmara Djabwurrung man, first joined the National Native Title Council (NNTC) as Chair in 2017. Two year later he was appointed CEO, charged with supporting First Nation’s people’s right to true self-determination through advocating for their right to speak for and manage their own Country; to govern their own communities; to participate fully in decision making and to self-determine their own social and economic development.

In 2021 he was appointed as the Indigenous Specialist Representative for the Australian Heritage Council – the principal adviser to the Australian Government on heritage matters.

In July 2018 he joined the Victorian Heritage Council as an Indigenous Specialist Representative and is a joint council member of the Coalition of the Peaks.  Jamie was instrumental in the Closing The Gap Agreement with the Federal Government, that came into effect July 2020.

Prior to joining NNTC Jamie was CEO of the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation in South Western Victoria, awarded Native Title in 2011. Today he represents the Eastern Maar People as an elected representative on the historic First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, the representative elected body tasked with negotiating a Treaty with the Victoria Government.

Internationally, Jamie is the NNTC representative on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) – a high level advisory body to the New York based UN Economic and Social Council.

As a key influencer, Jamie firmly believes that creating economic independence and maintaining and growing cultural identity are vital in creating a self-determining nation of First Nations peoples, and will continue to tirelessly advocate for a national Treaty whilst remaining a strong advocate for Traditional Owners and communities across Australia.

Highly regarded by the media, Jamie is regularly interviewed across all ABC, SBS and NITV platforms, The Financial Review, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Western Australia, WA Today and First Nations media.

Professor Asmi Wood

Asmi Wood teaches at the ANU College of Law and is a professor at the ANU Law School. He is a Barrister and Solicitor. His immediate past position was as Interim Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Studies. He supports the ANU College of Law Indigenous Programme and works closely with the Tjabal Centre.  His areas of research and teaching interest include legal ethics, constitutional law, humanitarian law, International law and the treatment of Indigenous peoples within legal frameworks other than their own normative systems.

Asmi was the ANU Indigenous Alumnus of 2020 and was made a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) in 2017. He was the recipient of the OLT Australian Award for University Teaching: Neville Bonner National Award for Education and Teaching Excellence in 2015, and also the ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010.

Glen Kelly

A Noongar man from the Lower South West, Glen Kelly OAM has over 25 years of experience in Aboriginal affairs, native title, community development and indigenous land management at local, national and international levels. He has extensive skills in land management, income generation and employment.

Mr Kelly has been a member of the National native Tribunal since November 2022.

He was chief executive of the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) for nearly a decade, and was the chief negotiator for the Noongar people with WA State Government to achieve the South West Native Title Settlement, the largest of its type in Australia. Mr Kelly was also chief executive of the national Native Title Council, director of KPMG’s Indigenous Services, chair of the WA Aboriginal Lands Trust, board member of Reconciliation Australia, principal of Djiiba Consulting, and chief executive of the Forum for Directors of Indigenous Organisations.

Mr Kelly is the winner in the Aboriginal Award category of the 2019 Western Australian Of The Year Awards. In June 2022, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the Indigenous Community of Western Australia.

Peter Bednall

Peter Bednall is Chief Executive Officer for Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC); the representative Native Title body corporate for the Wudjari Nyungars. Located in Kepa Kurl (Esperance) on the south coast of WA, ETNTAC works with its members to secure stable, purposeful and culturally connected lives. Peter has a legal background and extensive international experience working with government and local communities in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining ETNTAC in 2017, Peter was deployed by the Australian Government as a senior adviser in Papua New Guinea as part of a law and justice aid program.

Oral Maguire

Oral McGuire is a Noongar leader and landholder who is strongly skilled at cross-cultural mentoring and education.

Oral has extensive experience in traditional land and fire management practices, as well as 20 years’ experience running his consulting business. He has worked across government, private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector bridging the divide between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

Oral is a prominent leader within the Noongar community and has held a number of current and past roles in Aboriginal organisations. His current roles include chairing Noongar Land Enterprises Incorporated, Yaraguia Enterprises Incorporated and as a member of the Curtin University Aboriginal Advisory Council.

Oral holds a strong personal commitment to the values of integrity, dedication, loyalty and enthusiasm, and presents these values in all of his professional and personal efforts.