Nyiyanang wuunggalu! Symposium

Wednesday, 19 February 2020 to Thursday, 20 February 2020

8.30am - 5.00pm

National Portrait Gallery
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Australian Capital Territory

Nyiyanang wuunggalu! Indigenous insights into effective policy engagement and design

AIATSIS is hosting a second symposium on Indigenous culture and policy in February 2020.

In the Dhanggati language, nyiyanang wuunggalu means ‘let’s work together’. Our use of this phrase highlights that, although governments commonly reference ideas about ‘co-design’, ‘place-based’ policy, and working ‘with’ Indigenous peoples, these ideas are often not translated into practice.

Through this event, we will explore what it means to develop policy and programs in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. By bringing together community leaders, policymakers and researchers, we aim to shape contemporary policy and practice as well as identify the skills required and challenges to overcome.

Keynote Speakers - Day 1

Hoani Jeremy Lambert

Hoani Jeremy Lambert (Ngati Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa) is a career public servant and is currently the Deputy Chief Executive, Voices of Children at Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children.

In this role Hoani is responsible for advocating for children and young people’s interests across the government system, ensuring their voices are at the centre of government policy, service design and delivery.  He is also responsible for overseeing his Ministry’s implementation of new legislative duties in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi.

As part of the current public service reforms in New Zealand, Hoani is leading a working group to develop a Māori cultural competency framework for senior public servants as part of the Leadership Success Profile (LSP).

Although a specialist in communications, public relations and social marketing, Hoani has had a diverse range of professional roles. He has worked in parliament, directed biosecurity border operations and, most recently, worked as a diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hoani holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration through the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG).

Professor Colleen Hayward AM

Colleen Hayward is a senior Noongar woman with extensive family links throughout the south-west of WA. She comes from a teaching family with her father having been the first Aboriginal teacher, and Principal, in WA.

For more than 30 years, Colleen has provided significant input to policies and programs on a wide range of issues, reflecting the needs of minority groups at community, state and national levels. She has an extensive background in a range of areas including health, education, training, employment, housing, child protection and law & justice as well as significant experience in policy and management.

Among her many achievements, she has been recognised for her long-standing work for and on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia by winning the 2008 National NAIDOC Aboriginal Person of the Year Award. Colleen is also a recipient (2006) of the Premier of WA’s prestigious Multicultural Ambassador’s Award for advancing human rights and anti-racism in the community and is the 2009 inductee into the WA Department of Education’s Hall of Fame for Achievement in Aboriginal Education.

In 2011, she completed her term as a foundation member of the inaugural Board of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. In 2012, Colleen was inducted into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame and was recognised as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

In 2015, Colleen was a finalist in the Australian of the Year (Western Australia) Awards. 2015 also saw Colleen awarded one of Murdoch University’s Distinguished Alumni for her work in the areas of Equity and Social Justice. She was named as one of WA’s 100 most influential West Australians in both 2015 and 2016.

Until her recent retirement, Colleen was Edith Cowan University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Equity and Indigenous as well as Head of Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research. She remains strongly connected to and involved with Aboriginal issues especially Education.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith has traditional connections to Ugar (Stephen Island) and Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait. Kevin has over 28 years of professional experience in Indigenous affairs, including senior positions with the National Secretariat of Torres Strait Islander Organisations, the Brisbane Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, the National Native Title Tribunal, Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL) and the National Native Title Council.

Kevin has been the Chief Executive Officer of Queensland South Native Title Services since 2008. Kevin holds qualifications in both law and business management from the University of Queensland. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1994.

Craig Ritchie

Craig Ritchie is an Aboriginal man of the Dhunghutti and Biripi nations and is the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Prior to coming to AIATSIS he was Branch Manager, International Mobility in the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. In this role he was the senior departmental executive responsible for the Australian Government’s Endeavour Awards, which support international student and researcher mobility, and policy leadership on qualifications recognition. He was the Departmental lead on the Australian Government’s education relationships in America, the Middle East and Africa, along with APEC and UNESCO.

Daryle Rigney

Daryle Rigney a citizen of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, is Professor and Director of the Indigenous Nations and Collaborative Futures Research hub in the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney. He is a board member of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute, a member of the Indigenous Advisory Council, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona, a member of the South Australian Certificate of Education’s Expert Aboriginal Steering Committee and a Senior Fellow, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, Melbourne & Atlantic Institute, Oxford University, UK. Daryle’s academic and community work currently focus on developments in Indigenous nation building and governance following colonisation. He has published widely and influentially on these topics.

Dr. Josie Douglas

Dr Josie Douglas is the Executive Manager, Policy and Governance at the Central Land Council. Josie works with CLC’s Executive and Council on progressing their identified policy priorities. She had a key role in negotiating the NT Treaty Memorandum of Understanding and progressing the National Partnership Agreement (remote housing) with the NT and Commonwealth governments. Josie has worked in Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and has held senior research positions at CSIRO and Charles Darwin University. She is a Wardaman woman and has lived and worked on the lands of Arrernte people in Alice Springs for many years.

Panel Speakers - Day 2

Engagement – effective & productive communication and participation

Co-design – approaches to meaningful partnerships

Place-based policy – implementing local decision-making

Emerging Leaders – policy for the future

Panel Facilitator - Day 2

Graphic Recorder - Day 2


One day: $220.00

Both days: $380.00

Day one - Symposium

  • Six leading Indigenous policy influencers will unpack what it means to ‘work together’. Speakers, representing a diversity of backgrounds will offer their insights and perspective over the course of the day and explore some of the significant questions for discussion.

Day two - Workshop

  • Through a series of panels of Indigenous experts, the workshop will further develop ideas raised on Day One and tease out the challenges of implementing theory ‘on the ground’.

Call for papers

AIATSIS Research is pleased to invite submissions of abstracts for an edited book that aligns with the Symposium theme: Nyiyanang wuunggalu! Indigenous insights into effective policy engagement and design.

We invite papers that focus on effective policy engagement and design with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, particularly in relation to:

  • How do governments use terms like ‘co-design’ and ‘working with’? Do these new policy approaches substantially differ from previous policy ones?
  • How are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities leading policy and program design in practice?
  • What are the important theoretical and practical considerations involved in working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities?
  • What are the current barriers to effective policy engagement and design with Indigenous Australians and how do we overcome them?
  • What are some existing examples of effective policy engagement and design? How do we know they work?

AIATSIS Research is at the forefront of research led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are involved as researchers, partners and drivers of our research priorities and projects. We lead by example in conducting research to the highest ethical standards and we have a genuine commitment to building pathways for knowledge exchange.

Abstract submissions should:


For more information, please contact the Indigenous Culture and Heritage team via email, ICH@aiatsis.gov.au, or phone 02 6246 1105.


Last reviewed: 14 Apr 2020