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Transforming the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and government in NSW


Sharlene King
25 July 2018

How can research help empower an Aboriginal community or enable more Indigenous people to be economically prosperous?

Southern Cross University and Aboriginal Affairs NSW will host a research seminar tomorrow (Thursday July 26) to help lay the groundwork for how Aboriginal people can have a bigger say in the decisions that impact their lives and determine their own future.

The Aboriginal Affairs NSW Research Agenda 2018-2023 seminar brings together leading academic experts, policymakers and community leaders – including Mick Gooda, Dr Chris Sarra and journalist and Indigenous rights activist Jeff McMullen AM - to discuss the research required to support Aboriginal communities in NSW through future policy initiatives.

Dr Shawn Wilson, Director of Research for Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples based at Southern Cross, said the University was thrilled to host a gathering of important thought-leaders in Indigenous research.

“Research done in Aboriginal communities should follow what the community wants and needs, rather than being forced to follow an agenda set from outside.

“It is great to see Aboriginal Affairs has listened to the voices of Aboriginal people in setting the priorities for this research agenda,” said Dr Wilson who will moderate a panel discussing research priorities.

Mr Mick Gooda, who was the Royal Commissioner for the Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Northern Territory and was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner from 2010 to 2016, will MC the event.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Chris Sarra, Professor of Education at the University of Canberra. Dr Sarra most recently co-chaired the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council and will soon be heading up the Qld Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW Jason Ardler will also be speaking.

“We have built a research agenda for our time, one that emphasises hope over despair, aspirations over services, and places the transformation of the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and government at its centre,” Mr Ardler said.

Seminar topics elaborate on the chapters in the research agenda and include:

  • The cultural capability of NSW public servants
  • Influencing the public discourse and the impact of Aboriginal perspectives on policy development
  • Aboriginal languages
  • Self-determination

View the full seminar agenda.


Media are invited for interviews at the following times:

  • morning tea: 11am-11.20am
  • lunch: 1.20pm-2pm