Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson is a Jiman (central west Queensland) and Bundjalung (northern New South Wales) woman, with Anglo-Celtic and German heritage. Her academic contributions to the understanding of trauma related issues stemming from the violence of colonisation and the healing/recovery of Indigenous peoples from such trauma has won her the Carrick Neville Bonner Award in 2006 for her curriculum development and innovative teaching practice. In 2011 she was awarded the Fritz Redlick Memorial Award for Human Rights and Mental Health from the Harvard University program for refugee trauma.
Her book ‘Trauma Trails – Recreating Songlines: The transgenerational effects of trauma in Indigenous Australia’, provides context to the life stories of people who have been moved from their country in a process that has created trauma trails, and the changes that can occur in the lives of people as they make connection with each other and share their stories of healing.
She is a member of the Harvard Global Mental Health Scientific Research Alliance. She presently serves on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Scientific Advisory Committee on Closing the Gap research, and is on the Board of Directors of the Aboriginal and Torres Stait Islander Healing Foundation and sits on both the Education and Training Advisory Committee, and the Research Advisory Committee. She is the Patron of the We Al-li Trust.