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Date and time: Thursday 16th January 2020. 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Topic: Navigating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Evaluation
Presenter: Donna-Maree Stephens and Kim Robertson, Menzies School of Health Research & Charles Darwin University
Venue: Menzies Training Room Red 9.1.48 - Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina campus, Ellengowan Drive, Casuarina NT 0810
Register online by: 13 January 2020. Please note that the AES office is closed until 21st January so registrations will be sent to the NT Regional Convenor. 

This is a free seminar organised by the NT Regional Network Committee of the AES. Our seminar series provides an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in Northern Territory and to share and learn from the experiences of fellow evaluators. Members are encouraged to bring along colleagues with an interest in the topic even if they are not yet members of the AES. Please pass this onto your colleagues and networks.

Seminar overview

The need to strengthen evaluation approaches in Indigenous evaluation contexts is well documented at national and global levels. In response, many evaluators have suggested that a greater understanding and use of Indigenist and decolonising evaluation methods is required, preferably with evidence of strong Indigenous leadership and participation. This has paralleled discussions about the importance of Indigenous data sovereignty. A deeper appreciation of the principles underpinning Indigenous evaluation work has also been a focus of recent policy and strategy discussions in Australia, with a notable increase in the development of Indigenous focused evaluation frameworks as a result. In tandem, strategies to build capacity in Indigenous evaluation (of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous evaluators), have also started to surface through research commentary and evaluation practice.

In this workshop we explore with participants understandings of the complex interplay between values, power, culture and diversity. This interactive session aims to provide a safe space to openly discuss the challenges and opportunities that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous evaluators face in undertaking Indigenous evaluation work. This includes an opportunity to engage in open dialogue about the anxieties, tensions and celebrations associated with Indigenous evaluation. The session will be led by two Indigenous facilitators who have worked collaboratively on various Indigenous evaluation projects at local, state and national levels. Key points of discussion will be documented as a communique for participants.

Presenters background

Donna-Maree Stephens (Dip. T, BEd., ME) currently works within Alcohol, Other Drugs and Gambling at Menzies School of Health Research. An Iwaidja woman, of the Muran clan in northwest Arnhem land, Donna grew up in Darwin and began teaching in 1992 focused on research informed practice in education settings. She has a particular interest in e-learning and workforce development in remote settings. Over the past decade Ms Stephens has been working in higher education, research and evaluation involved in a range of community-based research and evaluation projects focused on remote education and pathways to Higher Education; student voice and resilience; alcohol and other drugs; workforce planning, training and development; and social and emotional wellbeing.

Kim Robertson, is Senior Analyst, Indigenous Policies and Programs with the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University and was a member of the Steering Group for Professor Smith’s 2017 NCSEHE Equity Fellowship investigating ways of strengthening evaluation in Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia. After a career in the public service, including policy and program evaluations, Kim transitioned to the University sector in 2009, assisting in the establishment of the Office of Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University, with Australia’s first Aboriginal Pro Vice-Chancellor. Recent research includes; Indigenous higher education and evaluation, Northern Territory Indigenous education policy, Indigenous academic workforce, youth justice and social policy. Kim is a proud descendant of the Thanakwithi, Waanyi and Wik peoples of North Queensland. She holds a BA in Social Science (JCU), a Masters of Indigenous Social Policy (UTS) and is currently undertaking a PhD on the strength and resilience of senior Aboriginal women from Cape York.


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