ANZSOG01This week in Melbourne was ANZSOG’s (Australian and New Zealand School of Government) second Indigenous affairs conference which was titled Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms bringing together Indigenous public sector leaders, non-for profits, academics and community organisation together. It was an opportunity to rethink assumptions about Indigenous Affairs and the public service. Current systems are hierarchical, reductionist and self-perpetuating. So how can effective and sustained changes be made to these systems to benefit First Peoples and reflect Indigenous ways of being?

Around 450 delegates attended the conference, with 50 speakers over two days, engaging in critical discussions and tangible ideas that will hopefully build effective services that  deliver to Indigenous peoples and communities.

Professor Miriam Jorgensen was a part of the Plenary session “International perspectives on Indigenous affairs” alongside Leila Smith, CEO of Aurora Education Foundation, Dr Karen Diver who was an appointee of President Obama as the special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs, Morgan Brigg an Associate Professor in the School of Political Science and International Studies at The University of Queensland and Lil Anderson (Te Rarawa and Ngapuhi) who is currently Deputy Secretary, Crown/Māori Relations Roopū at the Ministry of Justice.

Miriam talked to the research done here and at University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute and it’s characteristics of success in relation to Indigenous governance. With the main characteristic being an Aggressive assertion of self-determination.

“We’re still struggling in the US to change public administration at the national, state and local level to react to and incorporate these Indigenous self-determination success stories.” – Miriam Jorgensen

Professor Miriam Jorgensen, with Karen Diver, former Obama Administration Domestic Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs

For further information on the conference and transcript of keynotes  visit their site.