Our Princes Men Gallery Induction – Professor Shaun Ewen

Prince Alfred College inducted Old Scholar Shaun Ewen, into Our Princes Men Gallery on Thursday 20 June, 2019. The Princes Men Gallery is in honour of our Old Scholars who have achieved distinction in their respective fields.

Shaun was a student at Prince Alfred College from 1976 to 1986. He was involved in a range of school activities and won a number of prizes throughout his school career. He excelled in basketball in his senior years, playing in three Intercol games with the 1st team.

In his introduction of Shaun, to the assembly, Headmaster Bradley Fenner noted; ‘Shaun Ewen who now lives on Wurrundjeri country, in the area known as Narrm (or Melbourne) is the first Aboriginal Old Scholar to be inducted into the Princes Man Gallery.

Shaun has held a series of positions specialising in indigenous health which have led to his current appointments as Professor and Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in the faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Shaun, is an outstanding example of the very best qualities of the Princes Man, and we are delighted to include him in Our Princes Men Gallery.’We invite you to learn more of Shaun’s commendable achievements, by reading the speech given by Headmaster Bradley Fenner, at the Princes Men Gallery induction.

“Good afternoon students, staff and special guests, past Headmaster Mr Geoffrey Bean, and in particular Professor Shaun Ewen, family and friends. It gives me great pleasure to welcome our special guests here today for this induction.

As you know, it is our practice to induct an Old Scholar into Our Princes Men Gallery each term. In this way, we honour Old Scholars who have achieved distinction in their respective fields.  And we also gain the benefit of hearing something of their story and what messages they might want to give us.

Today’s induction should give us all great satisfaction in the year in which we celebrate our 150th anniversary. For today, in this milestone year, we celebrate another significant milestone for PAC, by honouring for the first time in this way, an Aboriginal Old Scholar. We do so with the desire and conviction that Shaun will be the first of many Aboriginal Old Scholars who will join Our Princes Men Gallery.

Shaun is an Aboriginal man who now lives on Wurrundjeri country, in the area known as Narrm (or Melbourne). He has been welcomed to that area by the Elders over very many years.  He grew up here in Adelaide on Kaurna country, and his Aboriginal family connections are in the Western District of Victoria, Gunditjimurra.

Shaun was a student at Prince Alfred College from 1976 to 1986. He was involved in a range of school activities and won a number of prizes throughout his school career.  He excelled in basketball in his senior years, playing in three Intercol games with the 1stteam.  He also had a strong passion for the opportunities provided at Scotts Creek and regularly went back in his senior years to engage with the leadership development of junior students and class groups.

Shaun was appointed PAC School Captain for 1986. Shaun’s conduct in that role can be gauged from the following extract from a reference written for him at the end of that year, by Mr Bean.”

“Shaun has given outstanding service as School Captain at Prince Alfred College. In this role, he has impressed everybody by his enormously high sense of responsibility and his extremely sensitive and perceptive way of handling the wide range of human relationships.  He is a person of high ideals and impeccable personal standards who can be relied upon and trusted absolutely.”

“Upon leaving school, Shaun studied for a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physiotherapy at the University of South Australia, during which time he also worked for a time as a Boarding House Tutor here at PAC. He later completed a Master of International Studies from the University of South Australia and then a Doctorate of Education from the University of Melbourne.

After working as a Physiotherapist in a variety of settings in Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa, he embarked upon an academic pathway.  This has included working as a visiting researcher at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and lecturing at the University of South Australia, Flinders University and then the University of Melbourne.

A series of positions specialising in indigenous health, have led to Shaun’s current appointments as Professor and Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in the faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.  He also holds another very significant, senior role, at the University of Melbourne as Pro Vice Chancellor for indigenous matters.

Shaun has received a series of awards and fellowships, most recently winning the Limelight Award for excellence in indigenous health education leadership in 2017. He has served on a large number of committees and boards and is the inaugural Chair of the Association of Commonwealth Universities’ Peace and Reconciliation Network. He has published widely, particularly in his area of indigenous health, in which he is regarded internationally as a leading voice and expert.  The issue of indigenous health is hugely important, not only to our Aboriginal community, but to us as a nation, and we should be proud to have one of our Old Scholars leading the way in this area.

Having corresponded with Shaun, and then subsequently I met with him in Melbourne, and spent some time discussing his journey and how that relates to Prince Alfred College, I know Shaun to be a man of the highest integrity and principles. I also know that he is someone who will not simply accept the way things are; he is prepared to challenge institutions, beliefs and practices.  He is committed to equity, fairness and justice, and to taking action to make this world a better place.  In that sense, we have every reason to be proud of Shaun Ewen, as an outstanding example of the very best qualities of the Princes Man, just as his reference written at the end of his school years suggested.

Professor Shaun Ewen, it is with great pleasure and pride that I induct you into Our Princes Men Gallery. I now present you with this tie, which is worn only by members of this distinguished group.

Prince Alfred College congratulates Shaun Ewen.”

Mr Bradley Fenner
Headmaster, Prince Alfred College