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Indigenous graduate chairs UN forum

01 May 2015

Being appointed to chair of a UN Permanent Forum is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Megan Davis.

It started with a childhood obsession with a picture of the UN assembly on her wall.

Last month, Megan Davis was appointed chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City.

The young Indigenous lawyer, who completed her PhD at the Regulatory Institutions Network, in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, has just chaired the 14th session of the permanent forum, which ran from 20 April to 1 May.

Accepting the position was an honour for Davis, who was brought up by her single mother in Queensland.

“I certainly grew up in a low socioeconomic family but one of the things that my mum did instil in us was a really strong sense of not only education, but awareness of the world around us, and that’s where my love of foreign policy came from,” she told ABC’s Radio National.

“Even though I grew up on the single pension she could always afford Time magazine where I first became as a little girl, obsessed with the United Nations and especially the general assembly.

“I did have a picture of it on my wall growing up. It was a bit of a spin-out today sitting on the podium and running the meeting, so it’s come full circle.”

Davis’ doctorate at the Regulatory Institutions Network was supervised by Professor Hilary Charlesworth.

Her research investigated the relationship between Indigenous women and liberal democracy.

In 2010, she became the first Australian Indigenous women to be elected to a UN body, when she was appointed to the forum.

Read about Megan's appointment to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at this link


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