Australian Fulbright association event: a re-imagined future: Indigenous nations within the nation state.

266d1b90d9b911e58abf39cf670c688d_inset_imageProfessorial Fellow at the Melbourne School of Government Miriam Jorgensen took part in an expert panel discussion on 26 November 2014, hosted by the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association and supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor. The sold out panel event, at University House was introduced by Fulbright alumnus Dr Iain Butterworth and followed by a cocktail reception. The panel comprised members of the Indigenous Nation Building Project research team: Professorial Fellow Miriam Jorgensen, Professor Daryle Rigney, Mr Tim Hartman, Mr Damein Bell and Fulbright alumni Drs Alison Vivian and Mark McMillan.

The salon-style discussion illuminated how certain Indigenous communities are building thriving, self-sufficient, and economically sound Indigenous Nations, capable of ensuring the wellbeing of their lands and peoples. The panel members discussed the international and Australian research that highlights the importance of community-level Indigenous self-determination in a climate of unsuccessful indigenous policies. The audience heard the stories of success through self-reflective and evolving governing systems of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, Gunditjmara People and Wiradjuri Nations, who are strategically engaging their citizens to determine their futures.

Attendees were diverse, from the university, government and community organisation sectors. They were asked to engage through a concluding question and answer session around how thriving, strong Indigenous nations that self-govern and determine their own priorities can benefit all of Australia.