Owen Patrick Ward
Owen Patrick Ward is a native of Galway City and is a member of the Irish Travelling community. He graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway with a B.A. (Hons) and Masters in Post Primary education (PME). In addition, Owen is a Programme Coordinator at the Access Centre, NUI Galway, is a member of National Anti-Racism Committee, Royal Irish Academy Higher Education Futures Committee, a member of the University of Sanctuary initiative, Places of Sanctuary Ireland, European Roma Rights Centre, as well as numerous Irish Traveller organisations. He was a Committee member of Údarás na hOllscoile (NUI Galway Governing Authority), the fist Irish Traveller elected to a University Governing authority in Ireland. Owen has worked as an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion policy advisor to primary, post primary schools, and third level institutions (NUI Galway) in addition to advising the Council of Europe and Roma Youth. Owen has worked extensively with the Access Centre in partnership with numerous national and local educational, cultural, and community organisations such as the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Department of Education and Skills (DES), Irish Refugee Council (IRC), Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Western Travellers Intercultural and Development Organisation (WestTrav), Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), and Galway City Partnership (GCP). Owen also supports students, parents, and carers in an effort to increase participation in third level education. More recently Owen has been heavily involved with mentoring students from ethnic minority groups and those from lower socioeconomic disadvantaged backgrounds in the Attract Transition and Succeed Programme (ATS). In partnership with Traveller students, Owen Co-founded ‘Mincéirs Whiden Society’ at NUI Galway, the first Traveller student society within a University in Ireland. Owen is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in addition to ensuring a voice for those from ethnic minority groups and lower socioeconomic backgrounds through informing inclusive policies based on both experience and evaluation of current policies and practices.