Uluṟu Statement leaders awarded Australia PeaceWomen Awards


Megan David and Pat Anderson signing

Megan Davis and Pat Anderson signing the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart painting in 2017.

Yolande Hutchinson
Yolande Hutchinson,

UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor Society Professor Megan Davis and Pat Anderson AO are honoured for their co-leadership of constitutional recognition. 

Key leaders synonymous with the campaign for constitutional recognition will be recognised by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) at a ceremony in Brisbane this evening.

UNSW Scientia Professor Megan Davis, Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law, and Pat Anderson AO will be awarded Australia PeaceWomen Awards for their work on the Referendum Council that led to the Uluṟu Statement and for their advocacy as co-chairs of the Uluṟu Dialogue for the Voice to Parliament Campaign.

“It’s a huge honour to be recognised by an organisation that unites women who are working for peace by non-violent means,” Prof. Davis said. “The award means a lot to me, as it celebrates advocacy work for the justice and equity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” 

Pat Anderson AO said the award was recognition of the tireless work to deliver the Uluṟu Statement of the Heart and leading the campaign for the Voice.

“It’s an honour to receive a PeaceWomen Award for my calls for real, meaningful change to address the power imbalances that have long disadvantaged Indigenous Australians,” she said.

UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs congratulated Prof. Davis’s and Ms Anderson’s achievement and acknowledged their exceptional leadership on the rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Prof. Davis and Ms Anderson were fundamental in delivering the Uluṟu Statement in 2017, and central in the dialogue surrounding the Voice to Parliament. We’re proud to see their staunch dedication and leadership being honoured with a PeaceWomen Award.

“As visionary leaders and activists for social justice, they continue to have an instrumental role in creating a better future for all Australians,” he said.

Prof. Davis and Ms Anderson are also Sydney Peace Prize laureates.

Advocacy for lasting change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Prof. Davis and Ms Anderson have spent decades advocating for the rights and for lasting change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Prof. Davis, the Director of the Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW, has worked on constitutional recognition at UNSW Law & Justice for 20 years. Prof. Davis designed the dialogue process and the First Nations National Constitutional Convention that led to the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart and the Voice to Parliament.

A Cobble Cobble Aboriginal woman from the Barrungam nation in south-west Queensland, Prof. Davis is the Balnaves Chair of Constitutional Law at UNSW, a human rights lawyer and public law expert, focusing on advocacy for First Nations.

Her work extends internationally, through roles at the United Nations (UN), focusing on global Indigenous rights. In this capacity, she was elected by the UN Economic and Social Council to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and then elected by the UN Human Rights Council to the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples based in Geneva.

Prof. Davis will visit Harvard University as the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair of Australian Studies and has been made a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

As visionary leaders and activists for social justice, they continue to have an instrumental role in creating a better future for all Australians.
Professor Attila Brungs
UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President

Media enquiries

For enquiries about this story and interview requests please contact Yolande Hutchinson

Tel: 0420 845 023
Email: y.hutchinson@unsw.edu.au

With a focus on education, health, early childhood development and violence against women and children, Ms Anderson has worked extensively across all levels of advocacy including community development, policy formation and research ethics.

Ms Anderson, who was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2014 for distinguished service to the Indigenous community as a social justice advocate, was a legal secretary to the Woodward Royal Commission into Aboriginal Land Rights in 1973.

She has held numerous leadership positions including chief executive officer of Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, chair of Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory and chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health. Ms Anderson has also been chair of the Lowitja Institute.

Australia PeaceWomen Award recipients

The other recipients of the Australia PeaceWomen Awards 2024 are Dr Alice Jill Edwards for her work for women peace and security, Michelle Maloney for her work for the environment and against climate change, and Dr Amanda Ruler for her work challenging militarism and advocating for the end of nuclear weapons.