UNSW's 70th Anniversary 


First Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous)

2007 Professor Megan Davis was officially appointed Director of the UNSW Indigenous Centre, a role which she served in for 10 years before being named UNSW’s first Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) in 2017. Professor Davis’ research into violence against Indigenous women has proved globally significant. She was the Aboriginal Australian elected to a United Nations body, and as a UN Rapporteur for an experts group, her work has influenced action by UNICEF and UN Women.

Today In her role as the Pro VC Indigenous and member of the Referendum Council, Professor Davis read out the Uluru Statement from the Heart on the floor of the First Nations Convention, calling for a First Nations voice to be added to parliament, giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a say in law and policy affecting them. The following year, in alignment with the Uluru Statement, Professor Davis released UNSW’s inaugural Indigenous Strategy.



2012 An updated version of UNSW's Environment Policy was approved with the purpose to express UNSW's commitment to environmental sustainability. The revised policy served to mobilise UNSW’s staff, students and visitors to play their part in reducing our environmental impact by minimising carbon emissions, conserving natural resources,  effective waste management and recycling practices, protection of natural habitats and local wildlife, and considering environmental factors in new build projects and redevelopments.

Today On World Environment Day 2019, UNSW announced that it will switch to 100% renewable electricity and its buildings will be net zero emissions in operation by 2020 as part of the new three-year plan. This commitment also included the expansion of onsite solar energy generation and improving energy and water efficiency to reduce the University’s environmental footprint.


Women in Leadership

2016 Professor Helen Lochhead joined UNSW Built Environment as the faculty’s first ever female Dean. Aware of the lack of gender diversity, Professor Lochhead pledged to user her new position to achieve 50% of women in leadership roles in the faculty as part of her leadership strategy – a pledge she has since achieved, and then some.

Today Following the success of this internal campaign, Professor Lochhead has now committed UNSW Built Environment to support gender parity across the whole Built Environment (BE) profession, hosting a regular Women in BE event each year to celebrate female BE leaders and garner philanthropic support from the community to drive forward this commitment through initiatives like scholarships and internships for women in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Following a number of successful programs to recruit and encourage women to pursue careers in traditionally male dominated fields, UNSW has also been accepted in the first round of university participants within the world-leading Athena Swan program to achieve gender diversity for students and staff, uni-wide.


All photos have been provided by UNSW Archives.