Using Gamma knowledge sharing as a decolonising approach to conference planning and facilitation

Authors

  • Kim O'Donnell Flinders University
  • Janet Kelly Flinders University

Keywords:

Indigenous research, event management, facilitation, decolonisation

Abstract

This paper discusses how the 2007 Action Learning Action Research Association ALARA conference was purposefully planned and facilitated with the intention of creating a  safe space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together to share knowledge and understandings. Concepts of Ganma (knowledge sharing) and Dadirri (deep listening) were used as a theoretical framework for both the conference planning, and the conference event. This collaborative approach enabled the planning team (Team SA) to ensure that Indigenous voices and preferences were fully heard and centrally positioned, rather than placed at the margins of decision making. The prevention of Western dominance and silencing of Aboriginal voices was a purposeful act of decolonisation. We explain how the planning process and teamwork ensured a suitable venue, affordable registrations and inclusive program. We then discuss the conference proceedings and how Ganma and Dadirri were central to our facilitation process. Finally we use the participant and planning team evaluations to highlight the challenges and benefits of this approach

Author Biographies

Kim O'Donnell, Flinders University

Kim O’Donnell

Flinders University

Department of Health Management

GPO Box 2100

Adelaide SA 5001

+61 8 82017768

kim.odonnell@flinders.edu.au

Kim O’Donnell is a Research Associate in Health Care Management and Doctorate of Public Health student at Flinders University. She is an Aboriginal woman from Western NSW, Australia with extensive experience and understanding working with Aboriginal people in health, education and land management. Her research focus is improving  relationships between Aboriginal managed organisations and government for better health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Janet Kelly, Flinders University

Janet Kelly

Flinders University

Department of Health Management

GPO Box 2100

Adelaide SA 5001

+61 8 8201776

janet.kelly@flinders.edu.au

Janet Kelly is an Anglo nurse researcher who grew up on Kangaroo Island, and is now working on the Managing Two Worlds Together: city hospital care for country Aboriginal people project. She focuses on ways that non-Aboriginal people and mainstream systems can work with Aboriginal people and communities in culturally safe and respectful ways.

Published

2011-11-02