Meet Old Collegian, Adam Black

Old Collegian, Adam Black (1991), is a Heritage, Research and Policy Manager at Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Corporation. He has an extensive history working in heritage governance, management and consulting, including twelve years’ experience working within the New South Wales Government in Aboriginal heritage.

Upon graduating from Clarendon, Adam was set to complete a university degree in archeology or liberal arts at Latrobe University. During the summer holidays, he decided to switch pathways and enrol into an agricultural business course at Marcus Oldham College.

Following the completion of that course, he began an agricultural economics degree at Latrobe University where, after a year, the opportunity arose to participate in electives from the archeology stream. After receiving a note from the Dean to congratulate him on his success in those subjects, Adam was inspired to re-enrol into a Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology/Aboriginal Studies).

In the years since, Adam completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Archaeology and a Master of Indigenous Knowledge (Alternative Dispute Resolution). He is currently pursuing a PhD in Conservation/Heritage Management.

Upon moving from Sydney, where he’d been studying and working, to Portland, he spent time working as a freelance consultant, then for Biosis as their Principal Heritage Adviser and now, as a manager at Gunditj Mirring.

“There’s nothing like having a big city career and then bringing that experience back to a rural environment,” said Adam. “Back working for the community and fighting for the good guy on the right side of heritage is a pretty good place to be.”

Recently, Adam found himself reading a social media post from Clarendon about the establishment of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

“Thinking back to 1991, there wasn’t a Reconciliation Action Plan or even a space for conversation about Indigenous cultural heritage,” said Adam. “To see that Clarendon had developed a Reconciliation Action Plan that’s moving towards recognising traditional owners and Aboriginal people, for someone like me, who has been through a career in Aboriginal affairs, this was a hallelujah moment.”

This, Adam says, influenced his decision to leave a bequest to Clarendon and continually support Annual Giving campaigns.

“Clarendon provided the foundations and confidence I needed to move on to the next stage of my life,” said Adam. “If I could assist younger people to launch into a career in social justice, like mine, I wanted to make that possible.”

Looking back on his time as a student, his Head of the Lake win and experience living in the Boarding House are stand-outs. In particular, he is grateful to past staff, Alexander Ball, for his mentorship.

“Without Alex’s academic mentorship in English and history, there is no way I’d be where I am today,” said Adam. “He was instrumental in my career and is one of the people I credit to how I got here.”

Reflecting on his career pathway, Adam believes it’s important for students to understand that it’s okay if they don’t know what they’d like to do after school.

“I wish that I had understood there were slightly different pathways to achieving your career goals after school,” said Adam. “There are always alternative pathways and, some of the real gold in life comes out of the direction you didn’t think you were going.”

To learn more about Clarendon’s Reconciliation Action Plan, visit