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25-26 June, 2015

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Brisbane, Australia

Conference Venue ~ Rooms B1 & B2 (1st Floor) on the Grey Street Entrance...

(up from the Southbank Cineplex)

Cost: $770 (2 Day Conference) + $50 (Conference Dinner)

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Good Morning Beautiful Family, Friends and Relations; It is very humbling and such an honour to report that the Traditional Knowledge Conference was absolutely wonderful!! The Essence and the Spirit of the Traditional Owners who graced us with their presence to do Welcome to Country was magical! A Huge Thank you to Uncle Des Sandy, Sissy Kerry Charlton and the Goori Dancers.

There is no English word that I can use to describe my feelings and the incredible Respect and Love that I and others felt to hear t​he Wise Words of Wisdom from our Beautiful Elders sharing their stories and their Knowledge with us...Wow!! 

The Love and Respect for one another was unbelievable! beyond my wildest expectation, the atmosphere was electric! there were lots of tears and lots of laughter & Joy. On the Night of the Dinner when People were on the floor dancing, I looked around and every single person on the dance floor had the biggest smiles on their faces, Amazing!! 

People came together in a spirit of Love, Respect, Unity and Harmony to share and to celebrate our Knowledge, another Way of looking at the world, another Way of interpreting the world, another way of Being in this world. A beautiful Way of Being in this World that has kept us strong in Body, Mind, Heart, Soul and Spirit for Thousands and Thousands of Years.

I take this opportunity to express my utmost Gratitude and Thanks to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community and members of the non-Indigenous Community in Brisbane who came together and donated and volunteered their time with such Love, Passion and Dedication to make this Event successful and was it ever!!! I have lived in Brisbane for over 30 years and I am very Proud to be part of this Community, THANK YOU!! Big Big Respect, Love you all to the Moon and Beyond. We are having a rest now and will soon be preparing ourselves for the next one in 2016 the next one will the World's First Nations Traditional Knowledge Conference 

This conference will create a culturally safe space for discourse on First Nations Australians Ways of Knowing and Ways of Doing. It will include dialogue pertaining to the implementation of Traditional Knowledge through Research, Education, Culture and Traditional Practices. It will also explore the multifaceted social, emotional, spiritual, environmental and political issues impacting on the lives of First Nations Australians in today's evolving society.

This conference endeavours to bring the voices of some of Australia’s most recognized Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Elders, Leaders, Scholars and Educators to the forefront. It aims to enrich the professional development and practice of practitioners from multidisciplinary backgrounds. It will answer the many questions and assist mainstream practitioners in gaining a better understanding and clearer insight into working with First Nations Australians. Our core objective and vision is to bring the voices of our Elders to the forefront, and to provide a platform for our Elders to share their wisdom and their knowledge in a culturally safe space. We extend a warm welcome to people from all walks of life from the grassroots community and to practitioners from both government and non-government sectors. 

It also aims to bring together the lived experiences of health workers, social workers, community workers & practitioners from multidisciplinary backgrounds to come together in a spirit of unity, harmony and peace to share their knowledge in an environment where their voices are respected.

Date: 25 and 26, June 2015.

Venue: Brisbane Convention Centre, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cost: $770... (inclusive of GST)

Early Bird: $660... (inclusive of GST) / Registration and payment must be received by April 30, 2015.

Conference Dinner & Entertainment: $50 (inclusive of GST)

All Welcome...Who should attend:

Scholars, Educators, Researchers, Elders, Community Members, Counsellors, Social Scientists, Cross-Cultural Educators, Social Workers, Community Development Workers, Human Service Workers, Health Workers, Holistic Practitioners and Natural Therapists etc.



The Traditional Knowledge conference is centred on 4 key themes as outlined;

1.Human Rights, Autonomy, Treaty, Land & Sea Rights, Social Justice & Self-Determination
The presenters in this session are leaders in the field of Human Rights & Social Justice Advocacy, Native Title Law, and Cultural Survival… They have worked tirelessly in the grassroots Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community for many years. Their valuable work have brought the struggle for cultural survival, Land & Sea Rights, Treaty, equal rights, autonomy, self-determination and sovereignty to the forefront on a local, national and international level. 

2.Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Discourse: Our Ways of Knowing in Research, Education and Praxis

This section includes presentations by academics from various universities about Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous Ways of Doing in terms of research, education and praxis. The presenters will share some of their current work, and past & current research methodologies and the benefits of their research to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community.

The academics are also members of the grassroots Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community and have worked at the coalface to bring the voices of their People to the forefront through direct community engagement and through education and training at a university level on a local, national and international level. 

3.Our Ways of Doing - Culture, Spirituality, Living Knowledge, Language, Enduring Memories, Our Stories/ Our Yarns

This session will involve a Morning Tea Yarning Circle with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, from communities around the country. We wanted to create a platform for our Elders to share their Wisdom, Knowledge and Stories in a culturally safe space. Some of these Elders have never been given such an opportunity to share their stories, so this is their time to speak. The other speakers in session 3 will share stories and knowledge from their own life journey and some of the lessons they have learnt on the way. Some will be sharing stories of their growing up years and the values and beliefs that shaped them in their formative years; again all of the speakers come from the grassroots community and have worked hard for the betterment of their community. 

4.Health, Healing, Wellness, Environment, Community Sustainability and Cultural Survival in the 21st Century

This section includes discourse around the current trends in Health, Healing, Wellness, Community Sustainability, Cultural Survival and the Environment in today's society and its impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. It will include some of the health statistics, solutions & practical strategies for the betterment of our community. The presenters are health practitioners, social workers, and community workers involved in current government programs, community initiatives and strategies to assist in Closing the Gap, they have a wealth of knowledge and track record in this field.


Registration will be accepted and confirmed upon Payment via Bank Transfer to: 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia


BSB: 064-138

ACCOUNT NO: 1063 2400

Or for payment via Paypal, Scroll down below

For the Traditional Knowledge Conference Registration Form & Tax Invoice, please send your details via telephone or email to:

Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop PhD (UQ 2010)

Managing Director, Malu Mai Consultancy

Telephone: 0459 508 460

Email: or


***All proceeds from the conference will aid in the development of our Community Wellness initiatives…

Showcasing the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre ~

Home of the Traditional Knowledge Conference

Brisbane City Views




Sister and Brother Duet Jemma-Rae and Roydon Boyd

Music Therapist, Singer, Songwriter...Getano Bann



It is very humbling to announce that the Traditional Knowledge Conference is a unique Gathering of the Voices of some of our Deadliest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, Leaders, Community Members, Academics, Artisans, Singers, Musicians, Songwriters, Dancers from First Nations Communities around the Country... Us Mob coming together to share our Knowledge, our Experiences, Our Yarns, Our Stories, Our Songs, Our Dances...It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone who genuinely want to learn about First Nations Australia, this is your opportunity to come and sit with us...All Welcome!!!  

See below, some of our Deadly Presenters;

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Keynote Presenter: Professor Gracelyn Smallwood

Biography: Professor Smallwood is of Birrigubba & South Sea Islander ancestral heritage with a long affiliation and close Family ties with the Torres Strait Islander Community and in Torres Strait Islander Traditional Lore and Culture. Her Aboriginal name is Gulligali meaning Sea Gull. She has been a tireless advocate for human rights, social justice, autonomy and self-determination for First Nations Australians spanning over 40 years. Since qualifying as a registered nurse in the early 1970’s Gracelyn has been an advocate for improved outcomes in Indigenous Health and Wellbeing in all sectors of society. Over the years Gracelyn served as Special Advisor on Aboriginal Health to the State and Federal Health Ministers.

In 1986, Gracelyn was awarded Queensland Aboriginal of the Year, in 1992, an Order of Australia medal for service to public health, particularly HIV-AIDS education; and in 1994 was the first woman, Indigenous person and non-paediatrician to receive the Henry Kemp Memorial Award at the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Forum.

Gracelyn has championed the improvement of health, in particular Health and HIV – Aids prevention and has gained national and international recognition in both mainstream and cultural public health spheres. Gracelyn’s advocacy work has taken her nationally and around the Globe to Mongolia, Beijing, New Zealand, Arizona, Hawaii and South Africa just to name a few. In 1997, one of the highlights of her long career was when she was invited to South Africa by President Nelson Mandela and conducted a series of lectures on HIV-AIDS.

Professor Gracelyn Smallwood was awarded a PhD at the James Cook University in 2012. Her Thesis titled “Human rights and first Australians’ well-being has gained a ground swell of interests from around the globe, again a clear example of Gracelyn’s tireless efforts to bring to the forefront the human rights, social justice and well-being of her People on an international level. Gracelyn recently published her PhD Thesis into a book through Routledge Publications titled 'Indigenist Critical Realism: Human Rights and First Australians' well-being'

Keynote Presenter: Kevin Smith | Lawyer | Chief Executive Officer of Queensland South Native Title Services

Biography: Kevin Smith is a descendant of the Meriam Peoples of Mer (Murray Island) in the Torres Strait with traditional connections to Ugar (Stephen Island) and Erub (Darnley Island). Kevin has nearly twenty years’ 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 and the National Native Title Tribunal. Kevin is currently the Deputy Chair of the National Native Title Council and the Chairperson of Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL). Since 2008 Kevin has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Queensland South Native Title Services, an organisation providing statutory services to Aboriginal Traditional Owners in the southern half of Queensland. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Queensland and was admitted as solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1994.

Abstract: “Native title reflections and predictions; looking backwards, looking forwards”


  • What does the native title landscape look like after two decades since the historic 1992 Mabo #2 High Court judgment and the inception of the Native Title Act (1993);

  • What have we learned from the achievements and outcomes but also the failures and disappointments;

  • What is the role of native title now and over the horizon in addressing the broader social, cultural, political and economic aspirations of Indigenous Australia.

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Keynote Presenter: Dr Payi Linda Ford | Senior Research Fellow, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University

Biography: Dr Payi Linda Ford is a Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu woman from Kurrindju on the Finniss River, in the Northern Territory and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Northern Institute of Charles Darwin University, with whom she has a long association. Her knowledge, expertise and research in working with Indigenous groups is clearly invaluable to the Northern Institute. Dr Ford graduated with her PhD (Education) in 2006 from Deakin University. Dr Ford’s valuable expertise and knowledge stems from her lived experiences and informs her Indigenous Epistemological Practices and its application to her research projects. This in-depth understanding has enabled her to engage effectively with Aboriginal Peoples and Communities both locally and nationally. The Indigenist research methodologies are applied to her research projects such as the Indigenous Early Childhood Settings, Australian Research Council Indigenous Discovery Grant 2007 – 2011 and the Warruwi Aquaculture project and Plant Biosecurity research project. Before joining the Northern Institute, Payi was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland, and based in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit. Her contribution to the learning and teaching curriculum at the University of Queensland earned the respect and admiration of both her students and colleagues alike, clearly demonstrating Payi Linda’s unique ability to successfully apply Indigenous Knowledge into the western academic paradigm.

As a Mother, Academic, Researcher, Cross-Cultural Educator, and Practitioner of Indigenous Traditions, Payi Linda Ford possesses a unique insight and rare understanding of Traditional Knowledge from her Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu Peoples’ ways of knowing and being all of which has enhanced her work in research and within the mainstream academic paradigm.

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Keynote Presenter: Mr Charles Passi | Executive Director | Passi Enterprise I Actor I Musician

Biography: Charles Passi is a Dauareb tribesman from the Meriam Islands of the eastern Torres Strait. Charles Passi was born on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait in 1964. As the eldest son of Dave and Lena Passi, he was born into the traditional responsiblity of land ownership and the preservation of cultural traditions in both Mer and Erub Islands in the Torres Strait. Charles has a long affiliation with the Brisbane Community where he completed his Senior Certificate at the Anglican Church Grammar Boarding School in Brisbane in 1981. Since then Charles began his apprenticeship in Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander Affairs with the then Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1984 and has since seen service to his people in various roles in State, local and Federal responsibilities. Charles’ career also extends to the Film & Music Industry, some of his greatest work has been in the TV Series, “RAN” Remote Area Nurse and in the Movie “Mabo” about the life and struggles of Koiki Eddie Mabo.

As the current Executive Director of Passi Enterprise, it complements a lifelong journey of commitment to the grassroots community and service with organisations such as;


  • National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation (Canberra)

  • Department of Aboriginal Affairs (Brisbane)

  • Mura Kosker Sorority (Thursday Island)

  • Lena Passi Women’s Shelter (Thursday Island)

  • Torres Shire Council (Thursday Island)

  • Danalaig Niai Idid Project (Queensland Health – Thursday Island)

  • Queensland Child Deaths Case Review Committee (Children’s Commission)

  • Domestic & Family Violence Research Reference Group (Mackay)

Charles is a visionary with a long standing commitment to bringing positive redevelopment of current practices by putting forward real and sustainable solutions to the issues impacting on our communities. As the Executive Director of Passi Enterprise, Charles is committed to establishing strategies that highlights progressive political and social reform that aims to address the social, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community. Passi Enterprise aims to address issues surrounding Family, Men and Community at a grassroots level through program delivery, community engagement, cultural sustainability, government consultation and strategic planning.

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel: Uncle Thomas Sebasio | Chairperson, Keriba Mabaigal Torres Strait Islander Corporation

Biography: Uncle Thomas is a Torres Strait Islander Elder from Erub (Darnley Island), and one of two Torres Strait Islander representatives on Griffith University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee.

Before he retired, Uncle Thomas was a long-standing employee of the Brisbane City Council Water Supply Department, recognised through a Council Award for 40 years meritorious service and an Equity Award for initiating measures to facilitate the employment and support for Indigenous Australians. He is also the recipient of the Lord Mayors Award for Excellence in recognition of his work achievements with the Water Network (1998-99) and a NAIDOC Award for distinguished work service in 2003.

Uncle Thomas is passionate about the preservation and promotion of the history and cultural heritage of Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This is demonstrated by his position of President, Keriba Mabaigal Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Culture and Heritage. Also demonstrated in his passion to preserve the Torres Strait Islander Culture is his membership of the Advisory Board of the State Library of Queensland, and his affiliation with the Curator, Queensland Museum (specifically in relation to the oceanic archaeology of the Torres Strait) and his cultural leadership in a number of other advisory, community and government agency roles. All of this speaks volumes about Uncle Thomas’ tireless work for the betterment of his People and Community.

Uncle Thomas is currently one of the Griffith University’s Council of Elders; giving advice and guidance to Griffith University’s goals and strategies in terms of the successful retention and education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. He is the current President / Chairperson of Keriba Mabaigal Torres Strait Islander Corporation.

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Special Guest Speaker: Dr Gregory Phillips | Executive Director, Abstarr Consulting

Biography: Dr Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru Peoples, and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa. He is a Medical Anthropologist, has a PhD in psychology (‘Dancing With Power: Aboriginal Health, Cultural Safety and Medical Education’), and a research master’s degree in medical science (‘Addictions and Healing in Aboriginal Country’, published as a book in 2003).

Gregory has twenty years work experience in healing, alcohol and other drugs, youth empowerment, medical education and health workforce. He developed an accredited Indigenous Health curriculum for all medical schools in Australia and New Zealand, founded the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, and co-wrote a national Indigenous health workforce strategy. He established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation Ltd in the wake of the federal apology to Indigenous Australians, has advised federal ministers on Indigenous health inequality, and was honoured in 2011 with an ADC Australian Leadership Forum Award.

Gregory is currently Executive Director of ABSTARR Consulting.

Abstract: “The Balance Between Rights and Responsibilities is Respect”; This presentation will explore the dynamics of power in Australia where whiteness is a kind of domestic violence. It will explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Aboriginal people act under the colonial regime, even today, and explore our options for making good on the promise of self-determination and healing. Who’s knowledge and wisdom will set us free?

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Special Guest Speaker: Mrs Noeleen Lopes | CEO Gallang Place, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders Counselling Services, Brisbane

Biography: Noeleen is a Ghungalu woman, born and raised in Brisbane. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree in 1991 and is a registered Accredited Mental Health Social Worker. Noeleen is a Core Founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Gallang Place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation established in 1994. As CEO of Gallang Place, Noeleen has been instrumental in spearheading workable and achievable strategies to ‘Closing the Gap’ around the many symptoms of unresolved intergenerational grief and trauma impacting on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in today’s evolving society. Gallang Place is a trauma informed organization and accredited under the (Quality Improvement Council) QIC Standards.

Noeleen is a trained mediator with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre in Brisbane and is the Founder of the Ghungalu Aboriginal Corporation which is involved in Native Title issues. Noeleen recently won a federal government scholarship for governance training which includes membership to the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Noeleen is a former Board Member of the Southern Queensland Regional Parole Board from 2001 – 2013 and she is a current Director of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

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Special Guest Speaker: Dr Felecia Watkin-Lui | Post-Graduate Coordinator/Senior Lecturer, James Cook University

Biography: Dr Felecia Watkin Lui is a Torres Strait Islander woman with ancestral and family links to Erub, Mabuiag and Badu in the Torres Strait. She is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of Research Training at Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University (JCU), Cairns. In 2002, Felecia attained an ARC Indigenous Discovery Grant to undertake her PhD research relating to Torres Strait Islanders living outside the Torres Strait. She also undertook a digital history project on the first wave of Torres Strait Islanders to move to the Australian mainland and settle in Malaytown, Cairns (funded by AIATSIS).


Felecia is currently a Chief Investigator on an ALTC funded project focussed on strengthening intercultural teacher leadership capabilities in the teaching and learning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander postgraduate coursework students. She is also a Chief Investigator on a research project looking at the sharing of turtle and dugong meat between Torres Strait Islanders, funded by the Australian Marine Mammal Centre. As the Director of Research Education, Felecia has overseen the ongoing development and expansion of the coursework and research streams of SIAS’ postgraduate program. In 2009, the SIAS Postgraduate Program received national recognition through an award in teaching excellence from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC).In the same year, Felecia additionally received personal recognition for teaching excellence through the awarding of JCU’s Supervisor of the Year (Early Career Supervisor); and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

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Special Guest Speaker: Ms Vanessa Lee | Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney

Biography: Vanessa Lee is a descendant of the Wik and Meriam Nations of far north Queensland. In her capacity of a senior academic within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney she has currently completed her PhD. As the first national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vice president of the Public Health Association of Australia, Vanessa is instrumental in ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and doing are placed in the forefront of policy development. All of the research and advocacy that Vanessa is involved in are directed towards the overarching goal of improving the efficacy and linkages of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel: Aunty Kathy Brown | Caboolture Elder

Biography: Aunty Kathy Brown was born in Burketown in Northwest Queensland, near Doomagee. She is of the Waanyi and, Kalkadoon Nation. Her Country stretches out right up to Lawn Hill mines. Aunty Kathy worked as a domestic Nurse for 32 years at the Winton hospital. Before this she worked at the Windemere Cattle Station at Winton for 2 years as a housemaid and nanny for the children of the Station Owner. She moved from Winton to Inala in 1964, and lived in Inala until 2004. In Inala, Aunty Kathy worked for 13 years at the Inala Serviceton South State School and was very happy to be there because she was also there for her children. After retiring from her job at the Inala Serviceton South State School, she moved up to the North Coast region with her husband. She lived on Bribie Island and Wamuran and has been living in Caboolture for the past 13 years. Aunty Kathy is a mother of four, grandmother of 13 and has 12 great grandchildren. Over the years, she has been a housewife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, always taking care of all of her children, her grandchildren and great grans.

Although retired, Aunty Kathy has been actively involved in the Community on a number of Boards and Elder Groups. She is also a member of the Waminda Respite Centre where she is involved in the Centre's activities for the elderly. CentaCare Waminda was established in Ningi in 1997 to respond to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Caboolture Shire. She is also involved with the Tullawong High School providing support and encouragement to Indigenous students to achieving results through Indigenous education, her great granddaughter is a student at this school.

Currently, Aunty Kathy is a member of the Caboolture Elders and is actively involved in the Caboolture Community, providing support to individuals and families. She is a senior member of the Caboolture Justice Group, assisting people whilst on probation and supporting those who come before the criminal justice system. Aunty Kathy also sits as an Elder on the Caboolture Murri Court and has been an Elder on the Murri Court for 5 years. She became a member of the Pamanyungan Elders Alliance Inc. in 2014 and received a Certificate of Appreciation for her tireless work and valuable contributions to the Community. Aunty Kathy is a pillar of strength in her family and community, always taking care of everyone and lending a helping hand to those who need it.

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel:

Aunty Flo Watson OAM | Order of Australia for Services to the Indigenous Community of Queensland

Aunty Flo Watson is a Traditional Owner and Elder fo the Ghunghanghi People of Yarrabah, North Queensland. Also affiliates with the Kuku-yelangi People of Laura/Maytown, Palmer River area and the Wulguru Kaba people of Magnetic Island and Townsville. Her Traditional Name is Jinnadirran.  

Aunty Flo has had a long and varied career working across numerous public and private sectors, from government and non-government organisations , Universities, TAFE olleges, grassroots Community Organisations as a Cultural Consultant, Mentor, Public Servant, Community Development Worker, Trainer, Educator, just to name a few. Her vast work experiences has provided her with substantial skills, experiences and knowledge in working effectively with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organisations. As an Indigenous person herself, Aunty Flo has successfully worked with clients and projects over the years within numerous Indigenous communities. Aunty Flo was the Principal Director of Jinnadirran Training & Consultancy Services Pty. Ltd, a Queensland Registered Company established in 1996. Its purpose was to establish a business, which specialises in developing and delivering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cross Cultural Awareness training and culturally appropriate skills training courses for all interested participants and organisations and provides a cultural approach to consulting services working with Indigenous People. Jinnadirran worked in partnership with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous facilitators and consultants to promote self-determination for Indigenous Australians and to progress the process of reconciliation.​

In January 2015, Aunty Flo was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her tireless work and services to the Indigenous Community of Queensland. This highly prestigious Medal is a clear example of her ongoing dedication and commitment to her community. Aunty Flo is currently engaged in consultancy work for Aus Aid, Australian Indigenous South Sea Islander Association, Qld Performance Arts Centre, Qld Education, Save the Children Foundation, Indigenous Disability Network, the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts, and The Queensland State Library.

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Special Guest Speaker: Issac Akande | PhD Student University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

Issac is of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, United States of America. Issac Akande of Wichita, Kansas is currently a PhD student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. He earned his Bachelor Degree from the University of Kansas studying political science and history, and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Oregon. Prior to his arrival at the University of Illinois he taught high school social studies for three years in the state of Kansas including a stint working amongst the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas. His research interests include American Indian and indigenous Studies with an emphasis on the histories of American Indian education after European contact.

As a First Nations American, he will share the stories of his People and bring their voices to the forefront.

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel: Aunty Rayleen Burns,

Community Elder

Aunty Rayleen Burns was born in Brisbane and is a second generation stolen generation. Her mum was raised in the Cherbourg Girls Dormitory and lived in the Dormitory until she was 14 years of age and then she went to work as a domestic servant for a policeman in Hebel, near Dirranbandi, Southwest Queensland. Her mother met her dad there and they later married in Brisbane.  

Aunty Rayleen is the youngest of 10 kids, 5 sisters and 4 brothers, she has heaps of nieces and nephews. Moved to Brisbane when she was 11, left school at grade 7 to start working in the Northgate Cannery and sewing clothes. She worked for 10 years in the factories. She moved to Mt Isa for work at the Coles Store, and was there for 2 years. She then came back to Brisbane and met her husband, she has four children and is a grandmother to nine grannies and 3 great grans, the youngest is one. She did the usual housewife things, raising her kids and doing part-time work here and there.

She went to kangaroo Point TAFE in 1982 and 1983 and completed a Diploma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Welfare. She got a job with Centrelink in Human Resources, she was there for 9 years and 9 months and during that period she started her Degree in Social Work, studying part-time and graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Queensland, Faculty of Social Work and Social Policy.

After graduating from University of Queensland, she commenced work as at social worker in Aboriginal and Islander community Health Service in Hubert Street in Woolloongabba for 3 years and she then moved to Tennant Creek and worked in Aboriginal Health and then in Mental Health in Queensland Health in Cairns in the Child and Youth Mental Health Services in Cairns. From there she moved to Aboriginal Health service in Port Hedlands in WA. And she worked for the Royal Flying doctors services in Hopevale Aboriginal Community in North Queensland and from there she moved to Aboriginal Community Health in the Katherine NT and then from there to Alice Springs to the Central Australia, Aboriginal Congress Alcohol and Drug Program and a short period at the Aboriginal and Islander Institute of Indigenous Health (IUIH) in Morayfield and since then is retired. Her Social Work Degree allowed her to travel the country and work in obscure and interesting places. Furthermore, her work in Social Work has enabled her to travel to the World Indigenous Healing Our Spirit Conference on three occasions in Albuquerque USA, and Edmonton in Canada and in Hawaii and she is going to the next one in Hamilton Aotearoa, this year. She also visited Tahiti and Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to learn about Torres Strait Islander culture.

Aunty Rayleen was a Board Member of Gallang Place, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Counselling Services and she was also a Board Member of Winnam Housing Co-op, and on the Board of the National Stolen Generation Alliance. In her retirement, she is still travelling, she has just come back from Winton and Longreach, she comes home for a bit and then she’s off again to Uluru in June. She is a quiet achiever and her life’s work has been in the areas of Social and Emotional Well-being in the grassroots Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. A large majority of her work has been with Traditional People in the Remote Communities across Australia. This has been her passion. Although retired, she is still actively involved in this work; addressing the social and emotional well-being in the community. Click on

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel: Dr Ruth Hegarty,

Writer | Storyteller | Community Elder

Aunty Ruth Hegarty was born in Mitchell in Western Queensland, and belong to the Gungurri Tribe, She is the mother of 8 children, all of them were born in Cherbourg. Cherbourg dormitory was her home. She has 103 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. She raised a big family. She has been a widow for the past 33 years. She went to Cherbourg and went into the single mothers dormitory with her mother, she was six months old and lived as a dormitory girl for 22 years. She went to school in Cherbourg. She went to year 3 and a half grade and to fourth grade and went out to work after that. She was a domestic servant to property owners, since she was 14, she worked for different property owners, she worked for 9 years. 

She came back and got married at 22 years of age and went to the camp to live in Cherbourg and it wasn’t until 1965, that she decided that the children weren’t getting enough education, and could not see any prospect of them getting jobs in Murgon, so she convinced her husband to move to Brisbane, Joe her husband was a labourer, with very little help from the government. She also worked cleaning homes. She left her job of cleaning homes and found a job up the road with Wilke group of Printers, she was there for 5 and a half years and then in 1975 after the big flood, she was happy and both her and her husband was earning good money and from 1966 to 1976. 

Dr Hegarty is the founder of Koobara Aboriginal and Islander Family Resource Centre in Zilmere and she established Burringilly Day Respite Centre over at Woodridge with others helping. She has been very busy all of her life and she set up Nalingu Respite Centre in Zilmere, she established the centres with the help of others.

For the last 30 years, Dr Hegarty and her family have been taking the family out to the Brisbane river every Easter. After her husband died, things quietened down and they stopped going camping until she was approached by the Commonwealth Government to set up Cultural Enrichments Camps. These camps have been running for for the past 30 years and they are still doing them even until today. The camps are very successful and they run them every school holidays, they take 33 children at a time out bush. They run the camps every first weeks in all the holidays. Binambi Barrambah Camping. Children aren’t allowed to come to camps if they haven’t been in school. It is a wonderful thing to take these children out to camps and many of them are now in good jobs and are done well.   

Dr Hegarty is an accomplished writer, 4 books and 5th book on the way; the fifth book is ready to be published. Dr Hegarty has 7 Children Stories signed with Scholastic Publishing Company, she signed a contract with them already. She was 70 years old when she started writing, she has been writing for the last 16 years. She is a natural born story teller, and decided then she should put it into print. She decided to try writing fiction, so her last two books are fiction. She has an Agent to do her organising for her called Bev Hickey. Dr Hegarty is still actively writing her books, she has a sequel to Suffer the Children and she is writing a book about her Mother’s life story about all that she suffered in Cherbourg.

Dr Hegarty is very proud that all her children have good jobs. She spends her time with the Baptist Church, she has been involved with them actively for the past 20 years. She is also involved in many different community initiatives, she attends the Day Respite Centre on Mondays, she is a mentor to her children and community. She provides telephone counselling when the need arises. She is a Patron of the Stolen Wages Scholarships, which is now helping our younger children who are in year 11 and year 12 in high school. She is studying her own Gunngurri Language.

As a writer she often sits with a pen in her hand so she can jot anything that comes to mind... Time has been so filled with so much.

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel:

Glenice Warinkil, |Woppaburra Elder

| Community Elder, Brisbane.

Biography: Aunty Glenice (Barney) Croft, traditional Woppaburra name is Warinkil which means Crow Woman. She a Woppaburra and Community Elder. Her grandfather, her traditional ancestor, name Munquadum, a Dharanbul/Woppaburra man from the Keppel Islands. He was one of the last of her ancestors removed from his country in the early 1900’s. Firstly to cattle yards at Woodford, then Fraser Island and Cherbourg where he met and married her grandmother Bessie Blair and then settle in Urangan, Hervey Bay. There, they had two children, one of them was Aunty Glenice’s mother who met and married her father and she is one of twelve children. They never lost connection to their traditional land on Keppel Island. Woppaburra people now have a 99 year lease on five pieces of land on Great Keppel Island (Woppa) – granted in 2007.

Aunty Glenice’s house was a drop-in centre for people travelling through the area, relatives from Cherbourg, Yarrabah, Brisbane, from anywhere. Everyone always knew they could throw a swag down on their large verandah. Aunty Glenice’s childhood memories, growing up in Hervey Bay was both good and bad. Her good memories are of great fresh seafood, vegetable gardens, their own chickens and a pet goat, meat was a luxury. Her family life is something she is still dealing with today, but as a child one finds happiness in small things. Her bad memories are of blatant racial prejudice displayed as an acceptable option was unquestionable. You didn’t rock the boat, our feelings didn’t count. School days were a mixture of loving learning and being bullied in the playground.

Her cultural knowledge came from listening to the old people talking in language, when we were not supposed to be listening. They still had the fear and mistrust of the white man, because of all the atrocities that they saw happen to their people before they were taken away from their country. Her curiosity and interest in her culture has been a living experience. She was given Knowledge from the Wise Ones and has passed this Knowledge on to her children. This knowledge and her life’s journey comes from all the people who walked with her and whose footsteps she followed and walked beside, this has been an ambition of hers to document and to put this Knowledge into a book, the process has begun.

She successfully completed the Associate Diploma in Social Sciences (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Welfare) and completed one year Associate Diploma in Administration (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Business) at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at the Kangaroo Point College of TAFE.

The successful completion of her course was due to her determination, commitment and appreciation of the chance to be involved in this new initiative to educate and re-educate Indigenous people in the environment they are comfortable in. Since the successful completion of her course at Kangaroo Point TAFE College, Aunty Glenice participated in further areas of education and professional development and has membership and involvement in numerous community organisations. She has been involved in a wide range of community work, and has received Distinguished Services Award for her services to the community. Aunty Glenice has been instrumental in the establishment of core organisations in Brisbane. Although Aunty Glenice retired at 70 years old in 2013, she is still actively involved in Community initiatives.

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel: Lilla Watson, Community Elder, Artist, Educator, Philosopher, Aboriginal Political Activist & Human Rights Campaigner…Co-Founder of the BlackCard Pty Ltd

Aunty Lilla holds a wealth of knowledge on Aboriginal education, knowledge and culture. Dedicating her career to educating others, both on national and international platforms.


Aunty Lilla holds a Bachelor of Arts, and has contributed greatly to the world of academia, publishing a host of papers on Indigenous issues and being a key note speaker at several monumental events including – the National Conference on Higher Education, the International Feminism: Towards 2000 Conference and the Anti-Discrimination Commissions’ and the ‘Co-operation out of Conflict’ conference. Aunty Lilla has worked across the country, with several universities, as a visiting fellow lecturer. Her essential work in Aboriginal studies, also prompted an honourable invite for her to present her academic paper at the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples' Education in Canada.  

Aunty Lilla has developed and taught core university subjects such as 'Aboriginal Perspectives' for the University of Queensland, and in partnership with Aunty Mary Graham, developed 'Aboriginal Approaches to knowledge'. Aunty Lilla was instrumental in the development of the renowned LinkUp agency, tasked with the responsibility of reuniting Stolen Generation Children. She has been an advocate and supporter for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Tribal Council and several Murri youth programs. Aunty Lilla has also provided dedicated support to Woodford Prison, teaching and counselling Murri prisoners, as well as serving as a member of the Parole Board for Corrective Services. Aunty Lilla has also devoted her time to serving on other boards including: The Queensland Art Gallery, The Senate of Queensland University and the Board of the State Library.

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Special Guest Speaker: Mr Danny Foulkes Morseu | Social Worker, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community, QLD.

Biography: Danny Foulkes Morseu (Bin Doraho) was born on Thursday Island, Queensland. Through his father’s heritage, Danny is of the Dauareb Clan of the Meriam Nation, Erubam Le of Erub Island and the Wagadagam Nation of Mabuiag Island in the Torres Strait. On Danny's mother's lineage links back to Upai village/land on Badu Island. He grew up in Cairns, Far North Queensland and had the best of both worlds growing up with an Australian Step father, and maintaining his connections to the Torres Strait Islands with his mother Alimah, who raised him and his siblings in Cairns. Danny grew up playing Australian Rules and Basketball and went on to make various representative teams, including Far North Queensland and Queensland.

Danny’s step‐father’s mother, Grandma Kathleen Foulkes, was one of Australia’s first practicing female barristers, who nurtured Danny from a young age in country Victoria, in the township of Drouin. Danny’s mother’s family grew him up on Milman Street, Thursday Island, where his Nene – Grandmother ‐ (Hagiga Bin Doraho) and mother Alimah raised him with his siblings with the support of his large extended family.

From a young age he learnt the values of education and growing up between two cultures, which at times was challenging but has since shaped his Social Work practice, particularly when working with his people. When he returned from living overseas for five year in 2005, Danny moved to Townsville in North Queensland. He had seen what had happened on Palm Island and this inspired him to go and work and live in remote North Queensland with the community, as a Social Worker and Community Educator, and give back to the community of Palm Island and Townsville.

During his time in Townsville he was the organizer of the Indigenous Men’s Queensland Basketball team, he obtained his qualifications from James Cook University, in his Masters of Social Work, his sister Rohani, Aunty Noritta, and Grandmothers shaped his career as a Social Worker and his passion for social justice, self- determination and human rights.

Danny currently works in Canberra with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade where he entered as a Graduate Trainee in 2012, in one of the most competitive mainstream merit based recruitment and selection processes in the Australian Public Service. Danny will be talking about his practice as a male Social Worker, drawing on his experience from his previous roles as a student at James Cook University, work with Relationships Australia, as a Community Visitor, Youth Justice Convenor, Programs Correctional Officer and focus on social justice, human rights and self‐determination for Indigenous people.

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Keynote Presenter Elders Panel: Millianna Davey | Artisan | Community Elder, Townsville, Queensland.

Biography: Aunty Millianna Davey heritage extends from mainland Australia to the Kulkalgal Nation & Dauareb Clan of the Meriam Nation with strong family ties to the Erubam Le and Ugaram Le of the Eastern Torres Strait. Aunty Millianna Davey was born on Ugar Island and grew up on Erub Island. She worked as a nurse at the Aplin Hostel on Thursday Island taking care of patients from the outer Islands visiting the Thursday Island General Hospital. She married at a young age and moved from Thursday Island to Marathon near Hughenden where her husband was a Railway Fettler. She also worked for the Queensland Railways as a Station Mistress at the Marathon Railway Station.

Aunty Millianna, currently resides in Townsville where she is actively involved in the local community as part of the Deadly Aunties, singing in the prison system for our men and women in custody. She also donates her time to cook Traditional Food for the Mental Health hospital and she is a Cultural Educator and Weaver, Storyteller; teaching her craft and sharing her stories with school children in Townsville School. Aunty Millianna was also an Elder in the Murri Court in Townsville supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and young people who come before the courts and criminal justice system.

As a Traditional Weaver, she loves showcasing her craftwork and is always seen at cultural events and festivities selling her wares with a smile and a story.



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25 – 26 June, 2015~ Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Conference Venue ~ Rooms B1 & B2 (1st Floor) on the Grey Street Entrance...

(up from the Southbank Cineplex)

DAY ONE - Thursday 25th June, 2015

Walking our Talk: Look, Listen and Learn with Respect

8:00 – 8:45 Registration 

9:00-9:10 – Housekeeping & Introduction: MC- Ms Pammy White

9:15-9:40- Traditional Welcome to Country – Uncle Des Sandy, Ms Kerry Charlton with Goori Dancers

Morning Session:

Theme 1: Human Rights, Autonomy, Treaty, Land & Sea Rights, Social Justice and Self-Determination

Morning Tea – 10:40–10:55

11:00 - 11:40 Keynote Address: Mr Kevin Smith (Queensland South Native Title Services)

11:50 – 12:10 Issac Akande ( Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, USA) | University of Illinois PhD Student

12:15 – 12:35 Mr Danny Foulkes Morseu (Social Worker, Canberra) 

Lunch - 12:40-1:30

Afternoon Session:

Theme 2: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Discourse: Our Ways of Knowing in Research, Education and Praxis

1:30 -2:45 – Keynote Address: Dr Sandra Phillips (Queensland University of Technology)

Afternoon Tea: 2:55 – 3:10

3:15pm – 4:00 – Keynote Address: Associate Professor John Evans (University of Sydney)

4:10 – 4:30 – Dr Gregory Phillips (Abstarr Consulting, Melbourne)

4:35 – 4:55 – Ms Vanessa Lee (University of Sydney)

5:00-5:25 – Dr Felecia Watkin-Lui (James Cook University, Cairns)


DAY TWO – Friday 26th June 2015

Living Knowledge: How do we know what we know?

8:10 – 8:20 – MC: Housekeeping & Introduction: Dr Gregory Phillips

8:15 – (Traditional Song or Poetry)

Morning Session:

Theme 3: Our Ways of Doing - Culture, Spirituality, Living Knowledge, Language, Enduring Memories, Our Stories/Our Yarns

8:30-10:55 Keynote Address with Panel of Elders / Yarning Circle Morning Tea with the Elders

Panel Members ~ Aunty Flo Watson, Uncle Albert Holt, Aunty Mona Phillips, Aunty Lilla Watson, Aunty Kathy Brown, Uncle Thomas Sebasio, Aunty Rose Elu, Dr Ruth Hegarty, Aunty Rayleen Burns, Aunty Glenice Warinkil, Aunty Millianna Davey, Aunty Bess Catley, , Uncle Des Sandy, Uncle Sam Watson, Uncle Terry Williams, Aunty Dawn Daylight, Aunty Valmai Burns (Chair: Ms Yvette Holt & Ms Kerry Charlton)

Morning Tea – 10:45–10:55 Elders Yarning Circle

11:00 - 11:40 Keynote Address: Dr Linda Ford, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University

11:50 – 12:10: Mr Bua Benny Mabo (BuAkoko Consulting, Thursday Island, Torres Strait, North Queensland)

Lunch - 12:40-1:30

Afternoon Session:

Theme 4: Health, Healing, Wellness, Environment, Community Sustainability

and Cultural Survival in the 21st Century

1:35 - 2:20 – Keynote Address: Aunty Lilla Watson (BlackCard, Brisbane, QLD.)

2:25 - 2:45 - Uncle Thomas Sebasio & Aunty Rose Elu

Afternoon Tea: 2:55 – 3:10

3:15 – 4:00 – Keynote Address: Mr Charles Passi, (Passi Enterprise)

4:10 – 4:30 – Mrs Noeleen Lopes, (Gallang Place, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corporation)

4:35 – 4:55 – Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop (Malu Mai Wellness Consultancy Pty Ltd)

Evening Session:

Conference Dinner with Conference Delegates

7:00pm – 12:00am – Dinner, Music and Entertainment:

MC Mr Getano Bann & Dr Noritta Morseu-Diop

6:55 – 7:10 – Jemma-Rae & Roydon Boyd

7:15 – 7:30 – Songlines Choir

7:35 – 7:45 –

7:50 – 8:15 – Gracelyn Smallwood

8:20 – 8:45 – Mr Getano Bann

8:50 – 9:25 – Mr Glenn Skuthorpe

9:30 – 12:00am- George Alfred & Willy Angelo

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