A significant cohort of Churchill Fellows recently attended the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Indigenous Affairs Conference Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms in Melbourne on 20-21 February, where the new ANZSOG First People’s Public Sector Churchill Fellowships were also officially launched.
The new ANZOG sponsored Fellowships, one for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and one for Māori working in the Australia and New Zealand public services, are for projects that will investigate First Peoples’ public sector practices leading to positive outcomes for Indigenous communities.
Churchill Fellows making significant contributions at the conference included Craig Ritchie and Leilani Bin Juda who were chosen to give opening and closing remarks, Franchesca Cubillo who facilitated a panel on ‘Arts and Culture’, participants Michelle Deshong, Kathryn Morton and Donisha Duff, and Elder Doseena Fergie who spoke alongside Churchill Trust CEO Adam Davey to launch the Fellowship at the conference dinner.
An additional highlight of the evening was the reception speech by Adam Goodes, who made special mention of the value of the Churchill Fellowship opportunity “to go across to different lands and create your own educational journey.”
Feedback from Fellows in attendance has been highly positive, as Doseena Fergie writes:
“The depth of knowledge and the transparency of notable leaders who spoke at the recent ANZSOG Conference was inspiring. Amidst the diversity of international speakers, we were united in spirit and cause, and I was encouraged to continue to voice and advocate for Indigenous Australian self-determination.”
The depth of knowledge and the transparency of notable leaders who spoke at the recent ANZSOG Conference was inspiring. Amidst thediversity of international speakers, we were united in spirit and cause, and I was encouraged to continue to voice and advocate for Indigenous Australian self-determination.
Highlights for me included the ‘voice of the children’ session (Mick Gooda & Hoani Lambert). It took me from despair to hope – such as despair when hearing how the Australian Government had no consultation with the Northern Territory Aboriginal community and quickly passed laws within 72 hours which led to the traumatic NT Emergency Intervention. This, when compared to the counter story of Maori leaders in Government who are making positive changes with youth by working with community. This gave me hope.
The Plenary on the Year of Indigenous Languages, especially the contribution from Prof Len Collard was a highlight. He stressed to me the fact that we as Indigenous Australians must highlight the precedence of our worldview and our language in this dominant society, and that as custodians of this Land we are the holders of knowledge and should be sought out by those who wish to understand Country. Another moment that stood out for me included Adam Goodes’ speech and his highlighting the importance place that discipline plays in life.
I also managed to rekindle connections, with a surprise meeting with a Maori colleauge I had met in Aotearoa on my Fellowship, and create new ones, meeting for the first time and re-connecting with long distance relatives from Queensland. I feel very proud to see where they have got to and where they are going. It gives me hope in our future.
“The ANZSOG Conference: Reimaging Public Administration in Indigenous Affairs was a timely event. As an Indigenous Churchill Fellow ‘working on the frontline’ in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, it’s often hard to find the time or to be abreast of the current national directions. The keynote from Marcia Langton was refreshing and direct in its assessment. I particularly enjoyed the workshop session on Indigenous Data Sovereignty.
I am currently a Chief Investigator of a Lowitja-funded research project that is designing an Indigenous Data Governance Framework for a data registry. Hearing from Prof Maggie Walter and A/Prof Maui Hudson about the development of this work was definitely the highlight for me. Our research team will be drawing on their work and also establishing further links with them and their networks. It was also wonderful to meet the other Churchill Fellows. Congratulations to the Churchill Trust on the new ANZSOG Sponsorship Fellowship. Thanks for supporting my participation at the ANZSOG Conference.”
“The ANZSOG Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference provided me with an opportunity to examine how the mainstream ‘system’ of tourism can incorporate Indigenous knowledge and practice to deliver better results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and communities.
A highlight was hearing from speakers from New Zealand and the United States during the session on International perspectives on Indigenous affairs, which further built on the knowledge I gained during my Churchill Fellowship travels which included both countries. I also appreciated the session A new paradigm for Indigenous-settler relations.
As a non-Indigenous person, I am deeply interested in hearing insights that enable me to foster truthful relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people I collaborate with. However, overall what really resonated with me as a public servant, was the notion of working horizontally, rather than vertically, and being conscious of who the constituents are that we serve.
Image: Kathryn Morton