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Our scholars and alumni

Patricia Akee
SRW Pat Turner Scholarship 2020

Patricia Akee

Department of Health

Australian National University

Master of Culture Health and Medicine, College of Arts and Social Sciences

Patricia is a Meriam Neur (Meriam woman), from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. Her family lineage is primarily from the Meriam and Dauareb clans on Mer (Murray) and Dauar Islands. Her professional career has been expansive. Over the past 18 years she has worked in a variety of business and management roles in local and state government agencies in Queensland, focussing on community services and operational service delivery.

Most recently, she has worked for the Commonwealth Department of Health in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs, service delivery, policy formulation and implementation spaces. Her goal as a leader and as a Pat Turner Scholar is to ensure the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Nations’ peoples directly inform, shape and influence national health policy for all Indigenous Australians.

Dr Talia Avrahamzon
SRW Scholarship Graduated 2019


Talia Avrahamzon

Department of Social Services

Australian National University

PhD title: Everyday reconciliation at school: new celebrations and ongoing silences

Talia’s PhD explores how the education system engages in reconciliation at the policy, school and classroom levels as well as through the perspectives of children. Through a multi-disciplinary ethnographic inquiry into the everyday policies and practices in two urban primary schools on Ngunnawal Country, in the ACT education jurisdiction, the study responded to a gap in understanding how, why and for whom reconciliation is (re)constructed. The findings have implications for how individuals, organisations and the nation understand and engage with reconciliation beyond the education system.

Talia has been employed by the Department of Social Services since 2002 in various policy, implementation (including community engagement) and organisational culture (learning and development) roles. Talia’s current role is focusing on First Nation perspectives and engagement in disability policy and delivery. Since completing her PhD, she has also held positions in the ANU College of Arts and Social Science and holds a Research Fellowship position at the ANU Centre of Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR). Talia co-convenes the Indigenous Studies first year undergraduate course and has co-designed and delivered Indigenous Affairs, Policy and intercultural capability professional development and training packages. During her scholarship, Talia was a visiting scholar at Queens University, Belfast (2015) and Victoria University, Wellington (2019) where she maintains strong research and policy collaborations. 

Associate Professor Jerry Schwab
  • Everyday Reconciliation at School: New Celebrations and Ongoing Silences; Avrahamzon, Talia. 2019. Dissertation/Thesis, The Australian National University. 10.25911/5d77832701eef
  • Bar-Tal, D; Avrahamzon, T. (2016) Development of delegitimization and animosity in the context of intractable conflict. In Sibley, C. Barlow, F. (Eds) (2016). Cambridge Handbook of the Psychology of Prejudice. Cambridge Press. Cambridge.

Dr Suzanne Akila
SRW Scholarship Graduated 2016


Suzanne Akila

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian National University

PhD title: Participation and the Protection of Citizens Abroad in International Law

Suzanne’s PhD examined how state and non-state actors participate in the protection of citizens abroad and why. It included in-depth studies of Australia, Germany and Mexico’s consular and protection frameworks and practice.

Suzanne is a Director in the International Legal Practice Group in the Legal Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has led the International Law Section, the International Law Advising and Treaties Section and the Sea Law and Antarctica Section. Suzanne was named Woman Lawyer of the Year for Government by the ACT Women Lawyers Association in 2018. She is a Visiting Government Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School and has taught international law at ANU. She completed her LLM specialising in public international law at University College London and her LLB at the University of Western Australia.

Professor Hilary Charlesworth
  • Participation and the Protection of Citizens Abroad in International Law; Akila, Suzanne. 2015. Dissertation/Thesis, The Australian National University. 10.25911/5d76383ea66a0
  • Australian Legislation Concerning Matters of International Law 2008. Akila, Suzanne; Cavenagh, Jennifer; Mackay, Emily; et al. The Australian Year Book of International Law Online, 2010, Volume 29, Issue 1
  • Networks of protection; Akila, Suzanne. Experts, Networks and International Law, 01/2017
The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation is a partnership between The Australian National University, Charles Darwin University and the Australian Public Service.