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Shane, a decedent of the Gangulu people, is Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Sydney. Shane was the first Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander to be appointed to such a senior position at any university.
Shane has extensive experience working in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander policy and began as an advisor on Aboriginal employment to the New South Wales (NSW) government. His work has led him to Canada where he worked for the UN-affiliated Work Council of Indigenous People. He has worked in senior roles such as Coordinator of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisation, where he made significant contributions to what became the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Head of Aboriginal Health for the Western Australian government; and Director of Aboriginal Policy for the Northern Territory government. In his time working for the government, Mr Houston was dedicated to implementing innovative strategies to strengthen Aboriginal cultural security within the department. Shane was also integral in setting up the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, a community-controlled health and community service organisation that currently serves more than 12,000 people.
In his current role at the University of Sydney, Shane is interested in finding ways to nurture and progress the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous leaders; expand research to explore the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and increase Indigenous employment within the university. He has lead the organisation to advance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation, engagement and academic research.
Shane completed a PhD from Curtin University that examined the way that Aboriginal values are incorporated into health funding decisions. He was previously a board member of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Lowitja Institute.