Proud Bundajalung man Boe Rambaldini awarded Honorary Fellow of the University

Pro-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew (left) and Boe Rambaldini (rigPro-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew (left) and Boe Rambaldini (right). Image Credit: The University of Sydney.

The University celebrates Boe Rambaldini’s advocacy for health and wellbeing outcomes for First Nations people

The University of Sydney awards an Honorary Fellow of the University to Boe Rambaldini for his tireless work to support the improved health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Proud Bundajalung man Boe Rambaldini was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the University during a ceremony held at the University of Sydney on Thursday, 8 December, presided over by Pro-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew.

"Boe Rambaldini has worked tirelessly and selflessly to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for First Nations people through his work in government, education, and health. The University of Sydney is proud to celebrate his unwavering steadfastness and lasting continuing impact, defined by the work he fosters so others may succeed and thrive," said Pro-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Pettigrew.

Mr Rambaldini was born on the North Coast in New South Wales, and during his early years, he wasn’t given the tools to engage and connect with his Indigenous identity. He could not speak the language or practice the customs and ceremonies of his people, and while at school, he didn’t receive the opportunities of his non-Indigenous peers. But when he became a citizen of Australia following the 1967 Referendum, he began a journey that would enact government changes to improve Aboriginal healthcare.

He has worked in various positions across local, state and federal government. Which includes a role that placed him in the team that created the landmark 1988 paper ’Submission to Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Common Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Children from their Families.’

In 2011, Mr Rambaldini became the Aboriginal Oral Health Manager at the NSW Centre for Oral Health, and in this role, he assisted in establishing new dental clinics and expanding services. From 2014 to 2020, he was instrumental in forming the NSW Aboriginal Oral Plan that created partnerships within communities based on mutual respect and trust.

The University of Sydney is proud to celebrate his unwavering steadfastness and lasting continuing impact, defined by the work he fosters so others may succeed and thrive.

Through his appointment as Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney, he has continued to impact the community positively. The Poche Centre provides health services, research, and policy engagement. It aims to make tangible improvements to the health of Aboriginal people, closing the gap in life expectancy, seeking solutions to complex issues, and achieving health equity for those facing complex health problems.

Mr Rambaldini helped develop the ’Building Strong and Healthy Communities’ strategy in collaboration with communities. A plan built on previous programs that positively impacted children in regional and remote schools. It encouraged healthy decision-making, including installing clean water dispensers and refrigerated water.

In 2020, he was recognised by the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence for Outstanding Contribution to the University community. Mr Rambaldini has co-authored over 22 papers in the last five years and has been the Chief Investigator on four prestigious competitive grants.

Dr Roderick Kater, a gastroenterologist with a passion for sustainable agriculture and food production, has been named an Honorary Fellow of the University in recognition of his extraordinary contribution over many years.

Associate Professor Ross Steele AM, author of 37 books in French and English on subjects including French culture, language, and the teaching of the French language, has been named an Honorary Fellow.

Former parliamentarian the Honourable Nicola Roxon has received a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) in recognition of her contributions to government, health and public health law.