By ERWIN CHLANDA
Batchelor Institute has announced the appointment of a new CEO today but will not confirm nor deny reports that the previous one, Bob Somerville, who resigned under controversial circumstances, is still on the payroll.
And the institute made no comment on claims made to the Alice Springs News Online that there will be staff cuts in Alice Springs.
Professor Mark Rose, chairman of Batchelor Institute Council, has written to staff that Professor Steve Larkin is the new CEO and Director of the Institute.
Professor Rose says Professor Larkin is a Kungarakany man from Darwin. He currently holds the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Newcastle.
“Professor Larkin is highly regarded leader having worked in across urban, rural and remote Aboriginal communities,” says Professor Rose.
“He has spent time working for the NT Government; the Australian Medical Association as their National Aboriginal Health Advisor; the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) as Chief Executive Officer; the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) as CEO; and also the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care as an Assistant Secretary in the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH).
“In his role at the Commonwealth Department, Professor Larkin was responsible for managing a range of programs, including social health; substance misuse; men’s and prisons health.”
He says Professor Larkin became the first ever Indigenous person to be appointed to a senior executive position within an Australia university . In 2009 he was appointed as chairman of the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council to the Federal Minister, and in 2012, was a member of the panel for the Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, the current national blueprint for Indigenous higher education in Australia.
Professor Larkin is a current board member of a number of national organisations including:-
• National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC).
• National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN).
• Chair, Healing Foundation.
• Board Member, BeyondBlue.
In 2017 Professor Larkin was appointed as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on The New Colombo Plan to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Professor Larkin holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the Queensland University of Technology, a Master’s degree in Social Science from Charles Sturt University and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Queensland.
“The Council and I look forward to working with Professor Larkin as he leads the Institute into a new and exciting chapter,” says Professor Rose.
Prominent Indigenous academic to head up Batchelor Institute
By ERWIN CHLANDA