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Pauline

Pauline Brown

Year of Award: 2013 Award State: New South Wales Social Welfare > Disabled And Disadvantaged
To use the kinship system to engage Aboriginal families with the National Disability Insurance Scheme commencing with the pilot in the Hunter region and then statewide - New Zealand, Canada
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About Pauline:

Pauline Brown has worked for the New South Wales (NSW) Government for the past 16 years across a range of areas including Aged Care, Disability, Community Services, Housing, Child Protection and most recently in a Local Health District. Prior to this Pauline had 20 years’ experience in the Commonwealth Government across a vast range of policy and program areas. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Canberra in 1992, majoring in Aboriginal Studies and Public Policy.

In 2011, Pauline completed the requirements for a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration at the University of NSW and translated to a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 2012. Since that time, she has held senior executive positions across all areas with responsibility for development, research and evaluation of new programs and initiatives. This depth of tertiary and professional experience has provided Pauline with exceptional skills in analyzing public policy, evaluation and developing new policy proposals.

Pauline was an integral Executive Member in supporting the design of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with a focus on access to Disability Services for Aboriginal people. This provided the groundwork to become a recipient of the 2013 Winston Churchill Fellowship which supported her to travel to the United Nations (USA), Canada and New Zealand in 2015 to undertake a study into the ‘Kinship System and its impact on access to Disability services for Aboriginal people’.

Currently, Pauline is the Director Aboriginal Health Strategy at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, where she has held this position since 2015. As part of this role Pauline provides authoritative and appropriate service, policy and cultural advice about Aboriginal Health to Executive, Senior Management, other management and clinical staff across the Local Health District; to influence strategic directions in policy and program development; negotiate with Aboriginal communities and organizations; and resource allocation to ensure high quality health service delivery to Aboriginal people.

About Pauline's Fellowship:

The kinship system is well understood by Aboriginal Australians and there have been practical examples of integrating kinship into Government policies. The concept of kinship has significant variations across the Indigenous nations across Canada and New Zealand.

I began my journey to explore how to effectively use the kinship system to build the capacity and resilience of Aboriginal People with a disability to lead a fulfilling life. I found through my fellowship that although kinship and engaging with elders is important what emerged for me was the notion of higher importance is the cultural context of disability including the concepts of cultural expectations and obligations of Aboriginal people as carers.

My primary observation is that while kinship is important it is not the primary success factor in improving access by Aboriginal people to disability services. The inclusion and acknowledgement of cultural needs is far more important.

My research focused on international comparisons, best practice in capacity building, successful ingredients for engagement and leadership, the cultural context, lessons on good service delivery and aspects of workforce.

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