Jacob Prehn, a Worimi man, born and raised in Lutruwita (Tasmania), started his journey while working full-time as an Aboriginal Health Worker at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. Initially he was unsure if university was the right choice for him as he did not finish college, however, with support from Riawunna, words of encouragement from family and friends, and lots of determination, he decided to enrol as a student. That was 15 years ago, and he has been associated with the University of Tasmania ever since, as a student and later as a staff member.
During this time, he has accomplished a PhD in Sociology and Social Work, a Master of Social Work, a Bachelor of Social Sciences, and a Graduate Certificate in Research. He has worked in various positions such as Indigenous Fellow – Senior Lecturer, Indigenous Fellow Academic Development, Project Officer, Research Assistant, and most recently, as the inaugural Associate Dean Indigenous for the College of Arts, Law, and Education (CALE).
As the Associate Dean Indigenous for CALE, Jacob aims to encourage Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff and students to contribute towards a culture of Indigenous excellence. CALE has a rich history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander success, and Jacob is leading the college to build upon this success across its schools and faculties. Indigenous staff and students are actively participating in research, learning and teaching, and leadership at both local and national levels. Jacob believes that CALE’s Indigenous staff, students, and graduates have significant contributions to make in the discussions around key Indigenous topics like the Voice to federal parliament, truth-telling and treaty, and how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families, and communities can grow strong. They have backing from non-indigenous colleagues who value their contributions.
Reflecting on his time with the University of Tasmania, Jacob expressed his happiness in continuing this association in the future. Throughout his journey, Jacob has met inspirational people, travelled internationally to experience and share other Indigenous cultures, made lifelong friends, and learned a lot about himself and the world around him.
Image: Jacob Prehn