Pre Conference Workshops


Reclaiming our Rights, Healing Our Future

Monday 25 November 2013, 9 – 1pm


Michael Galluzzo, Senior Communications Officer

Michael is a Wiradjuri man from Narrandera,south western NSW, who recently completed his Bachelor Laws/Bachelor of Arts majoring in Indigenous Australian Studies and Applied Linguistics. His previous experience includes working at Reconciliation Australia as part of the Reconciliation Action Plan and Policy and Public Affairs teams; and at Origin Communications, an Indigenous specialist consultancy company. Michael has extensive community networks which he puts to good use in his current position.



The workshop, presented by the Healing Foundation, aims to promote community awareness of relevant human rights treaties and encourage better engagement with human rights systems.

All humans have the right, on an equal basis with all others, to be treated with dignity and respect.

Knowing about Human RIGHTS is important. Human Rights affirm the value of all human beings and they confirm that we all have the right to participate in decisions that affect us. Human rights list the standards for how people should be treated and they provide a tool which can be used to claim rights when they are being denied.  Human rights standards also set out what governments cannot do – as well as guiding what governments must and should do.

The session will begin to unfold layers of human rights, how they support community needs, and direct government duties. We will look to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a way towards healing past, present and future trauma for our people, family and community.

Reimagining and Rebuilding Indigenous Nations in Australia

Miriam Jorgensen & Alison Vivian

Numerous Indigenous nations around the world have been quietly rebuilding and strengthening their communities as places where people can ad want to live. Research suggests that they are doing so by becoming effective polities, exercising their collective self-determination over cultural, social, environmental, land and other issues.

Moreover, the evidence from North America (and emerging evidence from Australia) suggests that the renaissance of Indigenous nations, through nation-building, has the potential to reverse decades of deficit that have flowed from one colonised generation to the next.

Join Miriam Jorgensen and Alison Vivian for discussion and interactive exercises about how nation (re)building might look in your community, and the benefits/opportunities and challenges that might follow. You will hear about how nation building is developing in the US and Canada and have the opportunity to engage with your peers about how these principles might apply in Australia.

Miriam Jorgensen is the Research Director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management & Policy at the University of Arizona. She is one of the world’s foremost experts on Indigenous government and capacity building. Over the last 15 years, she has focussed on translating her research into practical application in the US, Canada and more recently, Australia. She is currently leading an ARC Discovery Project (Changing the conversation: Rediscovering Indigenous government) that is working with two Aboriginal nations to explore how nation building principles apply in Australia.

Alison Vivian is a Senior Researcher at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has studied nation building principles at the University of Arizona and has spent the last three years working with Miriam on the ARC Discovery Project.

Click here to download the presentation.