UNSW international law expert Megan Davis has become the first Australian Indigenous woman to be elected to a UN body.

The Director of UNSW's Indigenous Law Centre, Davis was elected in a landslide to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues beating candidates from Finland and Spain.

It was the first time Australia had nominated an Indigenous person to a UN body. While strongly supported by the federal government, Davis will serve as an independent expert.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, welcomed Davis' election.

"Megan Davis is an outstanding candidate for the position and her nomination demonstrates the government's commitment to engagement with the United Nations and, in particular, with the Permanent Forum, in which Australia is an active participant," they said in a joint media release.

A leading scholar on Indigenous legal rights and international law, Davis has been active in the United Nations for more than a decade as an advocate for Indigenous rights, particularly for women.

To read more go to the Faculty of Law website

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8107 | s.offner@unsw.edu.au