News & Events

Building Legacy and Capacity Webinar Three: Indigenous Perspectives on Evaluation in Indigenous Higher Education

Event Details
Online webinar
18 April 2018 3:00 am

About the Building Legacy and Capacity Workshop and Webinar Series

The Building Legacy and Capacity Project is an initiative by the NCSEHE to further extend the Centre’s capacity in synthesising, codifying and disseminating learnings from research and practice and use them to inform future initiatives, studies and policy.

Project components include a series of expert panel workshops followed by corresponding webinars presented by workshop participants, inviting open discussion and feedback on the subject. Each workshop consists of a small group of researchers, practitioners, policymakers and community partners, who contribute their insights as subject matter experts.

The objectives of the workshops and webinars are to:

  • Define a collective knowledge base informed by research and practice
  • Engage in strategic and action planning to guide institutional practice and future research
  • Develop evidence-informed policy advice.

Webinar Three: Indigenous Perspectives on Evaluation in Indigenous Higher Education

The third workshop and webinar in the series put a spotlight on data sovereignty and the importance of listening to Indigenous perspectives on evaluation in Indigenous higher education.

Presented by James Smith (NCSEHE and Menzies School of Health Research) and Kim Robertson (Charles Darwin University), the webinar reviewed what is currently known about evaluation in Indigenous higher education contexts in Australia, followed by findings from James Smith’s 2017 Equity Fellowship project hosted through Charles Darwin University and sponsored by the NCSEHE. Key workshop outcomes were presented and webinar participants were given the opportunity to join the discussion with questions and comments.

Webinar recording:


Within Australia, the Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (Behrendt, Larkin, Griew, & Kelly, 2012) provided a clear mandate for investing in policies and programs that support Indigenous pathways, participation and achievement in higher education. While there have been notable investments and significant national reforms in Indigenous higher education over the past few years, the recommendation within the Behrendt Review to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework is yet to be actioned. Similarly, in 2015 prior to its abolishment, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council recommended the development of a ‘performance framework’, which is also yet to be actioned. This means there are no frameworks or practice guidelines to inform future success in evaluation in Indigenous higher education in Australia. Focused discussion through the workshop and subsequent webinar aimed to partially address this gap.

Webinar Presenters:

  • Professor James Smith — Professor James Smith is a Father Frank Flynn Fellow at Menzies School of Health Research. This role focuses on alcohol and other drugs harm minimisation. During 2017 he was a NCSEHE Equity Fellow, hosted at Charles Darwin University (CDU). Prior to this role, James was the Program Manager for the Whole of Community Engagement initiative within Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor – Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University. James has previously worked in a variety of executive and senior management roles in both the health and education sectors and has developed a strong background in health promotion and Indigenous affairs. He is the Editor-in-Chief and Consulting Editor of two major Australian journals and holds adjunct research positions at Curtin University, University of Sydney and University of Saskatchewan.
  • Ms Kim Robertson — Kim is a proud descendant of the Thanakwithi, Waanyi and Wik peoples of Cape York in Far North Queensland, and has English ancestry through her father who immigrated from the UK in the 1950s. Kim has dedicated over 20 years to Indigenous community development, largely within the public service (including regional management roles in Far North Queensland the Kimberley region of Western Australia). Her experience includes project management and policy development across diverse portfolios such as education, cultural heritage, family violence prevention, health, housing and leadership. In 2009, she moved to the higher education sector as Executive Policy Officer for the inaugural Office of Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University where she assisted in the development of the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education. Kim holds a BA in Social Science (JCU), and a Masters of Indigenous Social Policy (UTS).

Webinar slides including preliminary outcomes from the webinar and discussion:

Webinar transcript.


We would like to thank the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) for their kind support in the production of this webinar.

Posted 28 March 2018