Operationalising Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Where: Online

When: Tue 19th Oct 2021, 13:00 – 14:30 (1 hour, 30 minutes)

Presented by: Philanthropy Australia and Seer Data & Analytics

Data colonisation and extractive data practices are a concern for Indigenous communities across Australia and, globally, data has been weaponised against Indigenous peoples. The solution is to move towards true Indigenous Data Sovereignty to facilitate Indigenous-led governance for First Nations communities.

Storytelling is at the heart of Aboriginal culture and identity. Through the power of data, stories of Country and Community can be recorded, preserved, shared and analysed to help build knowledge and take action to disrupt disadvantage and close the gap. However, data colonisation and extractive data practices are a concern for Indigenous communities across Australia and, globally, data has been weaponised against Indigenous peoples. The solution is to move towards true Indigenous Data Sovereignty to facilitate Indigenous-led governance for First Nations communities.

A huge amount of work is being done to operationalise IDS by inspirational community leaders and elders across Australia.

In this session, we will speak to some of those who are leading the way to explore the work being done, what the challenges are and what needs to happen.



Kristi Mansfield, CEO & Co-founder, Seer Data & Analytics

Kristi Mansfield is the CEO & Co-founder of Seer Data & Analytics. Kristi is an inspirational thought leader, published author and industry leader on the use of data for social benefit.

Kristi is passionate about the need to establish and maintain Indigenous Data Sovereignty for First Nations people and is actively working to support the work being done on the ground in communities and at policy level, alongside First Nations community leaders.

Kristi has served on several boards including the North Queensland Cowboys Community Foundation, The Stella Prize, the Australian Women Donors Network, SharingStories and the NSW Government’s Family and Community Services Advisory Board for Social Investment. In 2015, she was named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review.


Alistair Ferguson, Executive Director, Maranguka Community Hub

Alistair Ferguson is the Executive Director of Maranguka and on the Executive Committee of Just Reinvest NSW. Alistair was the Chairperson of the Bourke Aboriginal Community Working Party for more than 10 years. Alistair’s position of Executive Director has been funded by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Dusseldorp Skills Forum.

Key to Alistair’s community development is the belief in seeing communities truly empowered and taking responsibility for their own issues and plight. In 2018, Alistair was nominated for the Australia’s Local Hero Award which aims to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions individuals make in their local community.

In 2015, in recognition of 20 years of work for his community in Bourke, and in particular for his leadership on the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project, Alistair received the Aboriginal Justice Award at the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Justice Awards.

Alistair is also a Director at Orana Haven Rehabilitation Centre and NSW Aboriginal Housing Office Member of the Regional Aboriginal Housing Committee, as well as on the Corrective Services Aboriginal Advisory Council.

Skye Trudgett, Director, Kowa

Skye is a proud mother and First Nations woman who is in the final stages of her PhD focusing on Indigenous Data Sovereignty principles in Australian literature and models of care for high risk young people, at the University of NSW. As part of her PhD thesis, Skye conducted a review of IDS principles globally. Her review saw the development of a bespoke conceptual framework that acts as a mechanism for designing and evaluating with principles of IDS in mind.

Skye is now a Director at Kowa, founded explicitly to address the need for elevating First Nations excellence and practices in impact measurement, evaluation and learning. She continues to support the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence to test and try approaches to impact measurement 'as' First Nations peoples.

Skye has contributed to numerous evaluations and research projects and has a passion for Indigenous Data Sovereignty and amplifying the voice of First Nations peoples in impact measurement and evaluation.

Paul Briggs, Kaiela Institute

Paul Briggs is a Yorta Yorta man based in Shepparton with a wealth of experience in Aboriginal community development. He grew up on the banks of the Dungala (Murray River) at Cummeragunja, and draws inspiration from the long list of past Yorta Yorta leaders including Sir Doug Nicholls and William Cooper, among many others, who have emanated from Cummera.

Paul has been at the forefront of Aboriginal peoples rights and advancement since the early 1970s. His leadership saw the establishment of a number of critical institutions including the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath Organisation, the Victorian Indigenous Leadership Network and First Nations Australian Credit Union, the first Indigenous credit union offering national access to financial services.

Corinne Hodson, Ngiyang Wayama

Corinne Hodson is an emerging community leader, a proud Wiradjuri/Ngunnawal woman with family links to the Riverina of NSW, who has been living on the Central Coast for the past 8 years.

Corinne has worked in the Community Services sector, mostly with youth, domestic and family violence and women’s services, as well as in child protection and across disability services for 19 years before starting work with Barang Regional Alliance in 2017. Her current role is Community Engagement Manager. Corinne has qualifications in Youth Work, Counselling, Narrative Practice and Project Management and has vocational qualifications in Case Management, Community Services, Leadership and Management and Business Governance. She has a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and currently teaches part-time within the NSW TAFE system.

Corinne is a current board member of Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Services and is also a board member of the Central Coast Community Council.

Corinne is a passionate advocate for social justice and for the development of Aboriginal leadership, particularly for our young people. She is also a huge fan of Dolly Parton, and of country music in general, and loves playing her guitar and singing.

Jacob Smeaton, Ngiyang Wayama

Jacob is an avid member of the Central Coast Community, attending local Aboriginal events, participating in the Barudir Project and the Barang Youth Summits, among other youth programs, as well as completing a School-Based Traineeship in Business Services at Novaskill.

During his time at school, Jacob won the 2020 Novaskill Central Coast Aboriginal Student of the year, displaying his positive attitude towards learning and improving himself.

Jacob recently finished school at Wyong High School as the 2020 school captain, prior to gaining early entry into a Bachelor of Global Indigenous Studies at the University of Newcastle.

He is now the Project Support Officer at Barang Regional Alliance, striving for the equal opportunity and representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and especially youth on the Central Coast, encouraging participation in every possible way.


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