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What are we going to do?

A reflection on ways forward for non-Indigenous South Australians to respond to Indigenous South Australian concerns

Wednesday 19 October 2005
Human Rights logoPresented by

The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, UniSA and the International Human Rights Day SA committee



Speaker information

Dr Peter Ford, Vice President of the Australia Medical Association (SA)
Dr Peter Ford is a general practitioner in Adelaide. He is Vice President of AMA (SA), AMA Federal Councillor, and a member of its Taskforce on Indigenous Health. He is Chair of the Aged Care Advisory Committee of the Adelaide North East Division of General Practice, clinical lecturer for the Department of General Practice, University of Adelaide, and clinical examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Practice.

Summary of presentation
The health disadvantage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is undeniable with their lifespan twenty years fewer than non indigenous Australians. Low birth weight is an issue of fundamental importance, having lifelong repercussions. There are examples of dramatic improvement in health outcomes for indigenous people. For sustained achievement it is essential that we attend to the social factors of education and employment to enhance the destiny of our indigenous children. We have the means; we only need the will.


Professor Michael RowanProfessor Michael Rowan, Pro Vice Chancellor: Education, Arts and Social Sciences, UniSA
Professor Michael Rowan is the Pro Vice Chancellor, Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences and a member of the Senior Management Group. His management portfolio includes the Schools of Communication, Information and New Media, International Studies, Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, The Unaipon School, Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design, South Australian School of Art, and Education.

Professor Rowan studied philosophy at Flinders University and the University of Adelaide. He began his career as a lecturer in philosophy before becoming the Head: School of Communication and Information Studies at the University of South Australia. He was appointed foundation Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of South Australia in 1994 and foundation Director of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre in 1997.

As the senior manager responsible for the Indigenous College of Education and Research since 1998, Michael has placed a particular focus on improving educational outcomes for Indigenous people in Australia as well as raising non-Indigenous people’s awareness of the Indigenous culture and community. He has actively supported the Statement of Commitment to Australian Reconciliation through his leadership. Implementation of the College Indigenisation Policy in employment attests to this fact. Michael has had a central role in the dialogue with Indigenous leaders and academics in key working groups and committees established to further these goals (Chair: Indigenous Education Working Group; Chair: Indigenous Content in Undergraduate Programs Working Group, Member: University Northern Areas Partnership (UNAP)).

Michael will be speaking on the history of UniSA’s engagement with Indigenous higher education, their current work and prospects for the future.


Jane SloaneJane Sloane, State Manager, SA/NT, World Vision Australia
Jane Sloane has had broad experience across government, the corporate and community sectors in Australia, North America, Europe and Asia.

Jane co-wrote the South Australian Government’s first Cultural Tourism Plan when she was General Manager, Marketing Communications with the South Australian Tourism Commission. Later, as Director of her own eco/cultural tourism business, she worked with Goolari Media (Aboriginal media and event company) in Broome, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide and Paperbark Woman in Darwin to develop indigenous products, events and experiences for tourism markets.

As General Manager, Sydney Media Centre for the 2000 Olympics, Jane oversaw the showcasing of Australian and indigenous tourism experiences to the worlds’ media together with a daily program of briefings on issues including indigenous culture.

Inspired by time spent with Nelson Mandela discussing social change just prior to the Olympics, Jane integrated her experience to become CEO of the Social Entrepreneurs Network for Australia New Zealand. This network was designed to support social entrepreneurs such as Noel Pearson in the Cape York community who had assumed leadership roles to catalyse social and economic change within their communities.

Prior to joining World Vision, Jane was Strategic Marketing Manager with Austrade, the Federal Government’s Australian Trade Commission. During her time in this position she developed a strategy for economic and social renewal through successful indigenous exporters sharing their knowledge with other indigenous operators with the potential to export products and services.

In her current role as State Manager, World Vision, Jane has been involved in developing a new model for engagement by World Vision in indigenous communities.
Jane is a recipient of a Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Fellowship and is a past Queens Trust recipient. She has a BA (Hons history), a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and is undertaking a PhD in the same field. She was awarded a 2005 Woman of Distinction Award by the Asia Pacific Business Women’s Council for her humanitarian work. Jane was also awarded a 2005 Churchill Fellowship to undertake research in North America and Europe in order to develop a model for a Humanitarian Emergency Response Team for Australia and the region.

Summary of presentation
We are all seekers in this world and the opportunity to spend time with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community, or to experience an indigenous event, suggests its own rite of passage. To many it offers the promise of a deep experience of culture, a connection to mystery and magic and a different lens through which to view the world and ourselves. Increasingly people across the globe are seeking out encounters with indigenous cultures, often through the specialist nature and cultural clubs and societies to which they belong, in the hope that they may return informed or perhaps transformed by such an experience.

Jane Sloane will explore some of the challenges in creating indigenous product and experiences for the tourism market, in terms of consumer demand, cultural context and economic and social sustainability. She will outline the opportunities for a new approach for developing appropriate cultural immersion experiences using the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yunkunytjatatjara (APY) Lands to illustrate her response to the question ‘What’s to be done?’


Commissioner Ted Mullighan
Ted Mullighan was admitted to the Roll of Practitioners of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1962. Since then he has been a member of the Commonwealth Legal Aid Review Committee, President of the Law Society of South Australia, and was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 1989. He has been chair of the Organising Committee of the Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Programme for the Judiciary in South Australia and co-chair of Reconciliation SA. He was appointed as Commissioner of the Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry in 2004.