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    Tokenist, ally or accomplice?

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    Event description

    Online Livestream link (commences Mon 27 May, 11.30am AEST) 

    How to meaningfully support Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination

    2024 is a year when many non-Indigenous Australians are reflecting on their engagement with First Nations people and issues. Performative action, tokenism and good intentions are not enough. How can we step up, lean into discomfort and do better? 

    Join us during Reconciliation Week to explore the differences between a tokenist, ally and accomplice and hear practical tips on meaningfully engaging with First Nations issues and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and self-determination.

    Dr Summer May Finlay will provide a keynote address on how non-Indigenous people can stand and act with First Nations people, and a panel discussion with Prof. Lindon Coombes, Prof. Chris Cunneen and Dr Elaine Laforteza, moderated by Prof. Robynne Quiggin, will reveal further insights into how you can be actively involved.

    Event details

    The event will also be live-streamed, so you can attend in person or tune in online! 

    • 11.15 am: Doors open
    • 11.30 am: Event commences
    • 11.40 am: Keynote speaker
    • 12.00 pm: Panel session commences
    • 1.00 pm: Event concludes


    Dr Summer May Finlay is a Yorta Yorta woman who grew up on Awabakal country (West Lake Macquarie) and is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her passion is what has driven her to work in a number of public health fields including social marketing, communications research and policy. She has worked for a range of organisations in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health, not-for profit, university and for profit sectors. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong.

    Professor Robynne Quiggin is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement) at UTS. Robynne is a Wiradyuri lawyer who has worked on legal and policy issues of relevance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including business, investment, financial services, consumer issues, human rights, governance, rights to culture, heritage, and the arts.

    Professor Lindon Coombes is Industry Professor and Director at Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at UTS. Lindon is a descendant of the Yuallaraay people of northwest NSW and has worked in Aboriginal Affairs in a range of positions including Director at PwC Indigenous Consulting, CEO of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, and CEO of Tranby Aboriginal College in Glebe.

    Professor Chris Cunneen is Professor of Criminology at Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, UTS. He has a national and international reputation as a leading criminologist specialising in First Nations peoples and the law, juvenile justice, restorative justice, policing, prison issues and human rights.

    Dr Elaine Laforteza is the Equity and Diversity Project Officer (Cultural Diversity) at UTS. Elaine’s work has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and community media, and she authored the book The Somatechnics of Whiteness and Race. Elaine hosts SBS’s award-winning podcast, My Bilingual Family, and is also an emerging playwright.

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