My name is Michelle Evans. I was born and raised in the Hunter Valley, NSW Australia and work in the area of Indigenous arts, management and leadership. I got really interested in the phenomenon of leadership when I was teaching Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and arts managers about management in the late 2000's. What I noticed was that when the cohort I was teaching came together as a group, something was happening beyond the learning about management. There were critical conversations about our practice in the Indigenous arts, critical deconstructions about the limiting state-owned funding and exhibiting/performing structures the Indigenous arts sector was working within. The word leadership kept on coming up for the group, and for me, as we worked together.
Leadership is inherently about change. It's a way of working with people; collectively moving towards a shared vision of the future. It's about setting an agenda at a local, state, national or even international level, with like-minded people whereby we collectively imagine how we want the future to look and figure out what's getting in the way of that and what we need to do to make this vision of the future a reality. Sometimes when people hear the word leadership they think of being the boss, or managing groups, being very directive. And, although these ways of leading may suit certain organisations, they do not define the work of leadership.
If you've found Dr Sandy O'Sullivan's article, Avoiding the Zero-sum Game, thought-provoking and want to know more about Australia's rich indigenous cultures, then you might be interested in 'The Little Red Yellow Black Book: an Introduction to Indigenous Australia'. This popular book, written from an Indigenous perspective, is both accessible and informative. There are sections on history, culture, sport, the arts, education, employment, governance, community participation, resistance, reconciliation and much more. It is suitable for both general interest and education. Of particular interest to tourists and other visitors to Australia, there is also a section on travelling respectfully on Indigenous land, and Indigenous festivals and tours. I strongly recommend this book.
Award winning artists Anne Riggs and Alex Pinder, authors of Bamboo, Banyan & Bodhi, will be returning to Nepal in December for two months and will have the opportunity to spend longer with the street children involved in their first project. Anne says 'It will be good to go back, to build on our first visit and delve deeper into its impact'.
We're looking forward to hearing how they get on.
An Indigenous Australian project-based perspective on creativity and research dissemination.
Sandy O’Sullivan raises important issues relevant to academic researchers everywhere, such as what counts as legitimate research output and how should it be assessed. As she points out, non-text based outputs are now generally acceptable in the arts, but is there as case for these in other areas too, especially in Indigenous research contexts? And when it comes to justifying what counts, who should justify this and what criteria should be used to do so?
Don't forget to watch Sandy's video at the end of this article too.
Michelle Evans is an experienced, innovative and dynamic practitioner, currently working in the emerging field of Indigenous Leadership and Aboriginal Business Development. Michelle has worked in the post-secondary education, arts and cultural sectors in Australia for the past fifteen years, and recently moved into business education, working as a Research Fellow for the Asia Pacific Social Impact Leadership Centre at the Melbourne Business School. She was instrumental in the establishment of MURRA Aboriginal Business Master Class Program (MBS/Kinaway).