Professor Michael McDaniel is a member of the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri Nation of Central New South Wales with a distinguished career in Indigenous higher education and record of service to the arts, culture and the community spanning more than three decades.
Michael is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) and Director of Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney where he is also a Professor in Indigenous Education. Michael is a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) and the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). Michael is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a member of the Australian College of Educators.
As an educational leader and innovative thinker Michael has been instrumental in the development of approaches that have seen UTS positioned as one of the leading Australian universities in Indigenous higher education and research, and arguably an internationally significant university in this area. Most recently he has led UTS in its ambition to establish Australia’s first university based Indigenous residential college. https://www.uts.edu.au/partners-and-community/initiatives/indigenous-residential-college
In recognition of his achievements and contribution to the field of Indigenous education, Michael was honoured as the 2019 National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year. In the same year, he was conferred an Honourary Doctor of Education by the World Indigenous Nations University (WINU) in recognition of his “pioneering work in advancing the social and political position of Indigenous Australians through education”.
Michael has held a number of Federal and State Government appointments having been Chair of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and a member of the Federal Minister for Education's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council, the National Native Title Tribunal, the New South Wales Mental Health Review Tribunal, the New South Wales Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the New South Wales Guardianship Tribunal. Michael has also been a Commissioner with the New South Wales Land and Environment Court.
Michael has a considerable record of leadership and service in relation to arts and culture. Apart from having chaired Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia’s premier Indigenous contemporary dance company, Michael has served on a number the boards including the Museum of Contemporary Art (Australia), Sydney Living Museums (Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales), the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) and the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College.
Michael is a member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation (IPO) Network Australia, a broad coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations and individuals that advocate for the promotion and protection of Indigenous human rights at the national and international level and has on a number of occasions been a delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).