Opinion: Sorry Day – The importance of knowledge

My name is Carissa Lee Godwin. I’m a Wemba-Wemba and Noongar woman, and Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) Specialist Editor for the First Peoples & Public Policy Collection. To me, knowledge is important, it’s something that has been passed on between generations within the many nations of the First Peoples of Australia. Unfortunately, a lot of First Peoples’ knowledge has been lost due to one in ten Indigenous children being forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and 1970 – breaking vital links to our generational knowledge.

Significance of Sorry Day

Sorry Day is a day where Australia acknowledges the mistreatment of First Nations peoples, namely the taking of First Nations children from their families, creating what are known as the Stolen Generations. The 26th of May 1997 was the date that the Bringing them home report – a guide to the findings and recommendations of the National Inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families – was tabled in parliament.

Sorry Day is followed by National Reconciliation Week on the 27th of May, which marks the date when the 1967 referendum took place. National Reconciliation Week concludes on the 3rd of June, which is when the High Court Mabo decision took place. The 1967 referendum is significant because this is when First Nations people were finally recognised as part of the Constitution of Australia. The Mabo decision led to the recognition of First Nations peoples and their ownership of land under the Native Title Act 1993 – which recognises the traditional rights and interests to land and waters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, there is still a long way to go on First Nations people being treated equally and being given rights to their land, even with amendments to the Constitution and the Native Title Act.

National Reconciliation Week

The placement of National Reconciliation Week after Sorry Day feels symbolic because in order for us to reconcile between and across cultures, we need to first acknowledge the wrongs that have been done. Reconciliation cannot happen without this first step. National Reconciliation Week has a theme each year, this year the theme is ‘Grounded in Truth – Walk Together in Courage’. This week is an opportunity for different cultures to come together and learn about First Nations people in an act of reconciliation, with organisations such as APO’s host Swinburne University of Technology holding events for Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week.

Public apologies and refusals

On the 12th of December 1992, as part of the celebration for the Year of the World’s Indigenous People, Paul Keating issued his Redfern speech to the citizens of Australia, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, stating his empathy and remorse at the occurrence of Indigenous children being taken from their families. He acknowledged that Australia was to blame for this, as well as the high numbers of Aboriginal deaths recorded in the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody Report that had been collated the previous year. Over a decade later, then-prime minister Kevin Rudd issued his apology speech on the 13th of February, 2008. This was a significant moment in Australian history, after the previous prime minister John Howard had vocally refused to apologise.

Lasting trauma of the Stolen Generations

One misconception about Sorry Day is that all Australia needs to do is acknowledge that Indigenous children were taken, and be sorry about it. However, the effects of such an act of disregard against human beings doesn’t stop there. Trauma is cruel like that. Australia needs to also recognise the intergenerational trauma that has occurred as a result of the Stolen Generations, the numerous massacres, ongoing police brutality, and institutionalised racism, a lot of which still happens today.

Continue reading “Opinion: Sorry Day – The importance of knowledge”

APO seeks new Director to set future vision

Analysis & Policy Observatory is about to enter a new phase in its evolution with a reinvigorated vision of how to provide evidence and insights in the age of open access, artificial intelligence and the digital economy. Do you, or someone you know, have what it takes to lead APO into the future?

APO is seeking a Director who will be responsible for leading the organisation into our next phase – providing vision and implementation of an exciting, relevant and sustainable strategy, with new data and information offerings for policy, consultant, research and practice audiences.

With a strong interest in research around evidence and data for public policy and practice, the new Director will be known as a research and thought leader, who will be motivated to generate contemporary innovative research and engagement activities around APO.

It will be crucial to advance APO as a nationally partnering and collaborating platform, with an increasingly international policy information market.

About APO at Swinburne

Analysis & Policy Observatory (originally named ‘Australian Policy Online’) began at Swinburne University of Technology in 2002 as an open access database for public policy resources. As a not-for-profit collaborative knowledge infrastructure and web platform, APO works with partners from universities and other organisations across Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

APO continues to be hosted by Swinburne University and run with the support of partner organisations – including the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Awarded the ‘Best Information Website’ at the 2014 Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards, APO is well established and boasts more than 4.2 million users from around the world and 16.4 million page views. You can find out more about APO on the About APO page.

Applying for the role

More information, including the position description, can be found on APO in the Jobs section: Director, Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO). Please circulate this link to those in your network who may be interested in this role. Applications close on 13 May 2019.

APO Digital Inclusion Collection relaunched

APO has relaunched the Digital Inclusion Collection with the support of the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University and Dr Chris K. Wilson, who will be writing a new Digital Inclusion review every month.

In recent years, digital inclusion has emerged as a critical area of investigation and policy development in Australia as it has elsewhere. Digital technologies have become progressively more deeply embedded in work, education, government, health, and other aspects of everyday experience. The goal of digital inclusion is to enable everyone to access and use digital technologies effectively and to do so in an affordable and sustainable manner.

APO’s Digital Inclusion Collection reflects and promotes these issues and we’re very pleased to relaunch the collection with the support of the Centre for Social Impact (Swinburne University node) through the expertise of Research Fellow, Dr Chris K. Wilson.

Dr Chris K. Wilson speaking at Ageing in a Digital World a conference hosted by 3Bridges Community as part of their 3Point Connect series (Sydney, 2 April 2019)

Chris is principal analyst for the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) project, a collaborative venture between the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University, RMIT University, Telstra and Roy Morgan Research. As the expert collection curator, Chris will contribute new resources and review existing content in a monthly Digital Inclusion review.  You can read his first review here APO Digital Inclusion Collection Brief: April 2019.

If you have feedback or questions about the APO Digital Inclusion Collection please get in touch with our Editorial Team at editors@apo.org.au.

APO user experience updates

We’ve been busy here at APO! The team has been making upgrades to APO and we’d like to show you some of our improvements…

Things that you can now do

Resources on APO

  • Citation tool: Download a citation for resources.
  • Pageviews: See how many times a resource has been viewed.
  • Related and Based On: Browse related resources suggestions.
APO pageviews and citation tool

APO Collections

  • Featured box: See the resource that has been highlighted by our Editors on a Collection page.
Featured box (APO Digital Health Systems Collection)
Continue reading “APO user experience updates”

First Peoples public policy collection launches

We are thrilled to announce the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection, established in partnership with Australia & new Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). This collection has been created to gather together First People’s digital policy resources all in one place.

The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection (FPPP Collection) highlights existing knowledge, databases and information that support policy and practice for First Peoples. It features resources for and by First Peoples and those working in Indigenous public policy and administration.

The collection was formally launched at the ANZSOG Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference on 21 February 2019 in Melbourne.

ANZSOG’s Catherine Althaus officially launches the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection at the Reimagining Public Administration conference (Melbourne, 21 February 2019)

Welcome to Carissa Godwin

With the arrival of this collection, we warmly welcome Carissa Godwin to the APO team. Carissa is the new Specialist Editor of First Peoples & Public Policy. She will be working with ANZSOG and members of the Indigenous community to curate and develop our First Peoples resources.

APO is hosted at Swinburne University of Technology, the first Australian University to have it’s Reconciliation Action Plan recognised at Elevate status.

Image: Gathering Knowledge. Artist: ARBUP Ash PETERS Wurundjeri/Taungurong Man, local artist and direct descendent of Coranderrk. This painting depicts the continuous cycle of footprints on a never ending journey travelling around Swinburne University’s campuses located on Wurundjeri land.

If you have feedback or queries about the FPPP collection, please get in touch with Carissa Godwin at cgodwin@apo.org.au. For more general enquiries about APO Collections, contact editors@apo.or.au.