Professor Juanita Sherwood
Professor Sherwood is currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Engagement at Charles Sturt University. For more than 35 years, she has worked as a nurse, teacher, lecturer, and researcher to change health and education outcomes for First Nations peoples.
Professor Sherwood is widely credited for recognising colonisation as the primary determinant of First Nations health and increasing the uptake of First Nations centred research and decolonisation methods. She is one of the top five most productive researchers globally on the topic of decolonisation and her work has popularised the use of decolonising frameworks and praxes in teaching, research, and health care across Australia.
Having lived and worked in many diverse urban, rural and remote settings, Professor Sherwood has experienced and witnessed first-hand the damaging impacts of colonial racism – particularly in the health system. Her long-standing commitment to Indigenous health research as a social justice praxis is concerned with building local First Nations power in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector as well as pursuing structural change in mainstream health settings to ensure greater cultural safety for First Nations patients and health workers.
Professor Sherwood is currently involved in several National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) funded projects toward these ends, including ‘Birthing on Country’ (BoC), ‘Strengthening systems for Indigenous healthcare equity’ (STRIDE), ‘Decolonising Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care’ and the ‘National First Nations Research Network’. Prof Sherwood is a CATSINaM founding member, member of the Elders’ Circle, Board Director and Muliyan founding member.