Canberra Conversation Lecture Series


Thu 31 May 2018Julie Tongs OAM, Louise Taylor, Kim Davison & Jon Stanhope AOFunction Room, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, 180 London Circuit, CANBERRA CITY

DATE: Thursday 31 May 2018
TIME: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
VENUE: Function Room, Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, 180 London Circuit, CANBERRA CITY


ABOUT: On 27 May 2018 the residents of Canberra will enjoy a public holiday, Reconciliation Day, to recognise and celebrate reconciliation in the ACT between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Aboriginal people.

This seminar will explore the extent to which genuine and sustainable progress has been made in achieving reconciliation in the ACT. The discussion will centre on a range of data, summarised below, which reflects the extent to which Aboriginal people in Canberra continue to experience disadvantage and of the adequacy of the local response to these matters, including the degree of self-determination accorded the Aboriginal community.

  • Native title has been completely extinguished in the ACT;
  • Canberra’s Indigenous students fall two years behind their non-Indigenous peers in educational outcomes;
  • Canberra’s Indigenous people are 21 times more likely to be incarcerated compared to non-Indigenous people, and the ACT has the second highest rate of Indigenous incarceration in Australia;
  • An Aboriginal child in Canberra is 12 times more likely than a non-Aboriginal child to be removed, under a care and protection order, from its parents and the ACT has the second highest rate of removal of Aboriginal children in Australia;
  • 7.6% of Canberra’s Aboriginal community report that they live in housing in which they do not have access to working sewerage facilities;
  • 46% of Indigenous males and 39% of Indigenous females in the ACT over the age of 15 used an illicit drug or other substance in the last year; and
  • 35% of Aboriginal children in Canberra live in poverty.

This IGPA seminar is co-sponsored by Winnunga Nimmityjah AHCS and is jointly convened by Professorial Fellow Jon Stanhope AO and Adjunct Professor Dr Khalid Ahmed PSM.

JULIE TONGS OAM has been the Chief Executive Officer of Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service since 1998. Julie is a Wiradjuri woman and was born in Whitton. She has more than 30 years’ experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and in particular in advising, formulating, implementing and evaluating public health initiatives, programs and policy at a local, regional and national level.

Julie has been a national leader and strong advocate of quality improvement initiatives within the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector. She is the recipient of a number of awards, including the ACT Governor General’s Centenary Medal, the ACT Indigenous Person of the Year, and the ACT Local Hero Award. In 2012 Julie was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia.

LOUISE TAYLOR is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Legal Aid ACT. Louise is a Kamilaroi woman born and raised in inner-city Sydney. For a significant portion of her career, Louise was a specialist Family Violence prosecutor at the Office of the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions.

Louise has a particular interest in women’s issues especially in relation to family, domestic and sexual violence and is passionate about the importance of access to justice for women, particularly for Aboriginal and other marginalised women. She is a long time Convenor of the ACT Women’s Legal Centre Management Committee, a past member of the ACT Domestic Violence Prevention Council and former Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Women. Louise was the 2009 recipient of the ACT International Women’s Day Award and is a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Indigenous Legal Issues Committee.

KIM DAVISON is a Bidjigal woman who has lived and raised family on Ngunnawal country for the past 36 years. She is the Executive Director of Gugan Gulwan Aboriginal Youth Corporation. The Corporation engages with the Aboriginal and Torrs Strait Islander youth through a range of programs and services. They include a Drug and Alcohol program, a Child, Youth and Family Support Program and a Reconnect Program.

Gugan Gulwan gives support to parents and the family unit, focusing on skills development for young people. In her role as the Executive Director over the past 24 years, Kim has a deep understanding of the disadvantage that the Indigenous youth encounter, and has tirelessly worked for greater community understanding.

PROFESSORIAL FELLOW JON STANHOPE AO was a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1998 to 2011. He was the Territory’s Chief Minister from 2001 to and 2011, and also held the portfolios of Health, Attorney-General, Municipal Services, Economic Development and Treasury during his tenure. He was Administrator of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories from 2012 to 2014. Jon is the son of migrant parents and was born on Wiradjuri country at Gundagai.

Besides IGPA, Jon is currently engaged with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Service as an adviser.

In addition to convening this Seminar series, Jon has been a regular commentator on the social, economic and public policy issues in the Australian Capital Territory, and a contributor to local media publications.




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