Abstract: The presentation will explore the National NAIDOC Theme and contextualise the connection between Indigenous Self-Determination and Country. The presentation will provide an overview of historical political and legal landscapes and how Indigenous peoples are leading change in this area. As a academic Michelle will also draw on her experience of placing Indigenous Knowledges at the forefront of research and how the development of a critical evidence base is shaping national institutions and a rights base narrative.
Biography: Michelle Deshong established her consultancy business in 2008 after extensive experience in both the public and private sector. Michelle has held senior executive positions spanning the public service and non-government sector. More recently she was the CEO of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute guiding the growth of the organisation over the past 5 years.
Alongside these professional roles, Michelle has maintained a strong interest in community organisations and held many governance roles, including Director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, Director of Supply Nation, Seed and the Reef Restoration Adaptation Program and member of AIATSIS Council.
Michelle holds a BA Honours in Political Science and Indigenous studies at James Cook University and is completing her PhD. In 2015 she was awarded the National NAIDOC Scholar of the year. In 2016 Michelle received the Fulbright Indigenous Professional Scholarship and in 2018 a Churchill Fellowship to continue to research Indigenous rights, leadership and governance in a global context.
Michelle’s consultancy business draws on her depth of experience in both Government/Non-Government and Not For Profit. She has an in-depth knowledge of Indigenous affairs and more broadly in the mechanisms of government, advocacy and political change. She is an accredited trainer and facilitator in Leadership, Governance, Australian and International politics and human rights fields.
Michelle Deshong’s consultancy has been engaged across a range of contracts including events/training, community development, strategic planning, gender equality and policy/service delivery reforms and reviews. Notably Michelle has also been the lead facilitator for the OXFAM’s Straight Talk program for the past 11 years and an Associate of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Michelle continues to deliver critical leadership training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.