Bonnie Fagan

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Bonnie Fagan, also known as Bonnie Fagan Chew, is an activist and advocate for her Indigenous heritage, including being a member of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council.

Early and personal life[edit]

Bonnie Fagan was born in 1979 in Footscray, Victoria, Australia. She was born into the Wadawurrung community. In 1987 her family moved to Talbot, Victoria, where Fagan was educated at Talbot Primary School, and Maryborough High School. She married Andy Chew in 2012.


Wathaurung Aboriginal Corp[edit]

Fagan was Cultural Heritage Coordinator at Wadawurrung (Wathaurung Aboriginal Corp) from 2008 to 2011. The Wadawurrung (Wathaurung Aboriginal Corp) are the traditional owners and Registered Aboriginal Party of the land encompassing Ballarat and Geelong. She worked with the community, archaeologists, developers, anthropologists, ecologists and government authorities on about 126 projects to preserve the Wadawurrung cultural heritage.[1]

University of Ballarat Aboriginal Education Centres[edit]

In 2011 Fagan was manager of University of Ballarat's Aboriginal Education Centres,[2] learning needs of Indigenous students across multiple centers. She also teaches Indigenous Studies in the School of Education and Arts.[3] She has conducted welcoming ceremonies on behalf of the Wadawurrung Elders, including notable events, like the Ballarat Sitting event at the Parliament of Victoria in 2012.[4] In 2012 she launched the University of Ballarat's second Reconciliation Action Plan.[5][6]

Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council[edit]

Fagan was appointed to the Council of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council in December 2012. The Council is composed of up to eleven Traditional Owners appointed by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. All members reside in Victoria and are experienced in cultural heritage management.[7]

13th World Conference of the League of Historical Cities[edit]

In April 2012, Fagan was a City of Ballarat Representative at the 13th World Conference of the League of Historical Cities in Vietnam. The conference was "Defining Universal Heritage Challenges and Solutions." Mayor Cr Mark Harris and Fagan presented a painting by Albert Fagan, Wadawurrung Elder, to the Mayor of Hue City, Vietnam.[1]

Speaking engagements[edit]

Fagan was a keynote speaker 29 March 2012 at the Museum Australia (Vic) conference Collect, Conserve, Connect where she discussed "Leadership in Regional Arts."[citation needed] In 2010 she spake at a workshop at the Melbourne Water Managing Country Together Gathering 2010 entitled "Cultural Heritage and protocols from Wadawurrung’s perspective".[8]


  • Bonnie Fagan with Robyn Brandenburg & Liz Crothers "An Aboriginal Pathway to Learning: My Story: A Conversation with Bonnie Fagan" IN
  • Brandenburg, Robyn & Wilson, Jacqueline, Pedagogies for the Future: Leading Quality Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Sense Publishers, 2013.


  1. ^ a b "League of Historical Cities". 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  2. ^ "Student Leadership & Volunteer Positions". Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  3. ^ "Pedagogies for the Future". Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  4. ^ "Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)". Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  5. ^ "Reconcilliation Action Plan". Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  6. ^ "Annual Report 2012". Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  7. ^ "Department of Premier and Cabinet - Overview". 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]