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Broads on Boards episode 0: Michelle Deshong on the long and successful history of Indigenous governance

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Today is episode 0 of the Take on Board podcast special series, Broads on Boards.

This series explores the history of women on boards in the place we now call Australia. So it’s fitting to kick off the discussion with an exploration of Indigenous governance. So, today I’m speaking with Michelle Deshong about Indigenous governance.

Michelle is a Kuku Yalanji woman with extensive experience in governance. She is currently Co-Chair of Supply Nation and Council member for AIATSIS.

Michelle was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, in 2017, to ‘research and apply best practice on Indigenous governance and leadership models’. Her study involved immersive visits to diverse First Nations communities and institutions. The primary objective was to investigate and analyse various leadership and governance models.

This research project uncovered a spectrum of self-government, sovereignty, and development approaches within these communities and provided insights into the potential adaptation and implementation of research findings and best practices within the Australian context. The research also included concepts of nation building, cultural governance, sovereignty, and identity, all of which were explored in detail within the report.

Following the study, Michelle integrated key findings from the Fellowship into the work of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute where she was CEO. As you can hear, Michelle is an expert in First Nations governance. In asking around who to speak to about this, everyone pointed me her way!

New Broads on Board episodes will roll out Tuesdays and Fridays throughout March wherever you find your podcasts.

Headshot of Indigenous governance expert, Michelle Deshong

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