Professor Carole Ferrier from the School of Communication and Arts has been recognized for her work as a human rights campaigner receiving a Peacewoman Award from the Queensland branch of theWomen’s International League for Peace and Freedom(WILPF) in the centenary year of their founding.
WILPF Queensland’s Peacewomen Awards recognise the talents and dedication of women whose activities have promoted peace at the local, national and/or international levels.
Professor Ferrier, has been actively creating change for over 40 years and has taken part in many demonstrations – from the democratic rights campaign against the Joh Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1970s and 1980s, to supporting Aboriginal struggles, opposing the Iraq invasion and calling for action on climate change.
“I’m delighted to receive the award,” she said.
“I know many of the people involved in WILPF and it is lovely to be acknowledged in this way.”
Professor Ferrier arrived in Brisbane in 1973 to take up a job in the English department of UQ, she said Brisbane was very different to the city it is today.
“There were no cafes or bars and there was only one restaurant which was in Fortitude Valley called Luckys,nobody sat about on the pavements on chairs” she said.
Professor Ferrier’s political involvement in the anti-War and anti Springbok tour movements sparked her interest in women’s rights and when she started work, she helped transform the university syllabus introducing more gender and ethnic diversity.
“At the time there were almost no writers studied who were not white, middle class, apparently heterosexual men, and the degree framework was very conservative.”
“UQ was in the vanguard, but it was happening at universities all across Australia,” she said.
“It was a very exciting time – Australia was really changing and moving forward.”
Professor Ferrier went on to convene the Gender Studies program which she still coordinates.
“Gender Studies knowledge provides depth of understanding on gender issues and can offer innovative perspectives that provide potential problem solving, backed up by substantial theory.
“The program started in 1972 but there are still complex debates around sexuality and gender related oppression which is further complicated by transgender questions and the persistence of extreme persecution of homosexuals and lesbians in certain countries,” she said.
Alongside her teaching and research, Professor Ferrier is editor of the feminist academic journal Hecate which is published twice a year.
For the past 15 years, she has also edited the Australian Women’s Book Review.
Media: Gillian Ievers - firstname.lastname@example.org / 07 33461633
Originally posted: http://hass.uq.edu.au/article/2015/11/peace-award-uq-academic