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Personal profile

Personal profile

Associate Professor Faye McMillan is a Wiradjuri yinaa (woman) from Trangie, NSW. Faye is the 2019 NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year and a Senior Atlantic Fellow (inaugural Atlantic Fellow for Social Equity) and was a founding member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) and was a board member of IAHA from 2009-2017 (and chairperson from 2010-2016) and works at Charles Sturt University (CSU) as the Director of the Djirruwang Program – Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health).  Faye holds a Doctor of Health Science, a Master of Indigenous Health Studies, Bachelor of Pharmacy and is Australia's first registered Aboriginal Pharmacist, Faye also holds a Graduate Certificates in Indigenous Governance from the University of Arizona (USA),  Wiradjuri Language Culture and Heritage and Education (UoM). In 2017 Faye has been recognised in the Who's Who of Australian Women and in 2014 Faye was recognised in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 women of influence. Her research interests are in Nation Building, Indigenous women in leadership roles; her Doctorate focused these two areas of research into her thesis as well as Mental Health.  Faye is also the proud mother to Kye and Ethan, as well as a daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt and friend, Faye seeks to use her own lived experiences to share with others with the hope that it could make a difference and to appreciate the transformative opportunities that education can provide.

Research Interests

My research contributes to and enhances one of the central research missions of Charles Sturt University with respect to Indigenous engagement. I have taken my central responsibility to make experiences of Indigenous Australians' (collectively and individually) of the health system (both doctrinally and theoretically) intelligible as a modern institutional practice which incorporates human rights and recognises the United Nations (UN) Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). As a Western trained Wiradjuri health professional, my duty is to make Anglo Australian aware of the significant impact of the health sector and Indigenous nation specific holistic needs, the study of how Australian people have lived with their law/s, intelligible as a central concern of the narrative formation of the modern nation and the impact that this has on not only overall health, but that of health service delivery. My intellectual and methodological ambition over my career to date has been to join these responsibilities together.


I have been an educator in Indigenous Health, as well as Nursing since 2003. I have worked as both the undergraduate and postgraduate coordinator of the Bachelor of Health Science (Indigenous Health) and the Master of Indigenous Health at the University of Wollongong for nearly a decade.  As the discipline lead for the Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) and the Djirruwang Director since 2011, my teaching philosophy emphasises the validity and legitimacy of Indigenous knowledge, culture and practice from an Indigenous centred position where critical understandings of the 'new' formations of colonisation are developed to challenge the status quo by engaging in action in multiple sites using multiple strategies.

Professional Information

In 2008, I was a contributing member to the establishment of the Indigenous Allied Health Network, which over time has been recognised as a lead Indigenous organisation and is now a company under Australian Security & Investments Commission (ASIC) with over 600 members and is now formally known as Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA). I am currently the chairperson of IAHA, which is a member elected position which I have held for the previous four years, and in November 2014 I was re-elected to the board of IAHA and to the position of chairperson.

National Health Leadership Forum - Strategic Advisory Group – Advisor to the Indigenous Health Minister (National) for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan – and now the Implementation of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan, this group has been operational for the last 3 years (across successive governments).

In 2002 I was selected as a committee member for the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarships, I am also a scholarship assessor for the scheme and have been since its inception in 2002.  The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme is funded by Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and commenced in 2002. The Scheme was established in recognition of Dr Arnold 'Puggy' Hunter's significant contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health I have been on this committee since 2002. The aim of the Scheme is to encourage and assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students in health-related disciplines to complete their studies and join the health workforce. The scholarship provides financial assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are intending to enrol or are enrolled in an entry level course in an eligible health related discipline at an Australian educational institution (Certificate IV and above).

The National Rural Health Continuing Education Program (RHEC2) RHCE2 is one of a number of Australian Government measures to support health professionals in rural and remote Australia in accessing continuing education and training. It is managed for the Department of Health by the National Rural Health Alliance as an assessor to this program my expertise around Indigenous health is drawn upon to assess the appropriateness of the research/education being undertaken with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and their communities.

Close the Gap Steering Committee - This committee is entirely self funded and operates across Indigenous and non-indigenous organisations to campaign against the health inequalities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Government use this to inform the Closing the Gap data that is reported on in February of each year. The poorer health of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when compared to the non-Indigenous population is no secret – and something can be done about  it. Since 2006, Australia's peak Indigenous and non-Indigenous health bodies, NGOs and human rights organisations have worked together to achieve health and life expectation equality for Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is known as the Close the Gap Campaign. The campaign's goal is to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation. The campaign is built on evidence that shows that significant improvements in the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can be achieved within short time frames. I have been involved with the steering committee since 2013.

Committee member: Australian Allied Health Forum. This forum was established on 2013 and is made up of members from Allied Health Professionals Australia (AHPA), Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health, National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants and IAHA.  The purpose is to provide a united and cohesive front to areas impacting allied health and the role that allied health has within society to government and other agencies that have carriage for health service delivery that impact on all Australians.

I was also a member on the National Committee for the - Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP). This committee was established to review Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander curricula within university settings and seek ways to improve the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within universities and the Psychology industry.  I have been involved with this committee since 2013 – project completed 2016.

ABILITY LINKS NSW ABORIGINAL ADVISORY GROUP - Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) is a new NSW State government initiative to support people with disabilities, their families and carers as a part of the ongoing reforms of the disability services system in NSW. It aims to provide people with a locally based first point of contact to support people to access supports and services in their local communities.  Appointed in 2015.

I am also a committee member for the Greater Western Human Research Ethics Committee; this committee assesses applications for research wishing to be undertaken in the Greater Western region, I have been an observer on this committee previous since 2014, and a member since 2016.

From 2009 to 2014 I was part of the Indigenous Education Ambassadors Program: The Ambassadors Program commenced in 2000 and was funded under the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000. Ambassadors sought to undertake visits to organisations and/or events that promote the importance of early learning, education, training and employment, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Ambassadors also promote cultural awareness among other Australians.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities


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