Double win for UNSW

Professors George Williams and Richard Bryant have been awarded inaugural Australian Laureate Fellowships, securing more than $5 million for research into anti-terror laws and improving mental well-being of Indigenous children.

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Two UNSW academics have been awarded inaugural Australian Laureate Fellowships, securing more than $5 million for world-leading research into anti-terror laws and improving mental health of Indigenous children.

George Williams and Richard Bryant are two of just 15 fellows announced by the Federal Government, selected from a highly competitive field of 148 researchers. UNSW's result puts it equal second nationally.

Scientia Professor Richard Bryant, from the School of Psychology in the Faculty of Science, is internationally recognised as the leading authority on early psychological responses after trauma.

His research program will identity the specific factors that lead to the academic and physical and mental health problems experienced by Aboriginal children in remote communities. It will provide an evidence base to shape future interventions to reduce violence and mental health problems in Aboriginal communities.

Professor George Williams from the Faculty of Law is one of Australia's leading constitutional law experts. He has made a major impact, both in Australia and internationally, on the debate around the drafting of anti-terror laws.

He will use his fellowship to examine how the law can protect the community from terrorism while balancing democratic values and human rights.

The new scheme, which replaces the Federation Fellowships, is fully funded by the ARC. Each award is worth around $2.7 million over five years and includes funding for a research team.

"Congratulations to our successful fellows, Richard Bryant and George Williams, two of our most eminent researchers," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Les Field.

"It's an excellent achievement for them personally as well as a great result for UNSW, placing us equal second nationally.

"These awards showcase the depth of our research excellence and further cement UNSW's position as one of the best research-intensive universities in Australia," Professor Field said.

Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, who announced the inaugural fellowships this week at Parliament House, said the scheme took the best of the Federation Fellowships with an added focus on teamwork and career progression.

"Australian Laureate Fellows will lead and mentor the next generation of research leaders, helping to build Australia's international competitive research capacity," Senator Carr said.

Media contact: Denise Knight | 9385 8920 |