Thoughts on the ALIA Leadership and Innovation Forum 2018 – NSW

Last Thursday, I joined fellow student Liz Parnell at the ALIA Leadership and Innovation Forum 2018 – NSW. On her suggestion, I also took the opportunity to join the ALIA Proficiency Recognition Program PD Scheme. This requires that I reflect on each PD event that I log for the scheme, so here is my reflection on Thursday night:

This panel discussion looked at the theme “Meaningful and respectful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, culture and heritage”, asking the question, “What more do we need to do?” As a non-indigenous person, some key ideas that struck me were that:
* the worldview and philosophical paradigm of Western culture and indigenous culture are very different
* libraries and other institutions need to look at culturally co-designing spaces, programs, processes, policies and so forth for community relevance
* decisions need to be contexualised within the framework of the community of location and service
* non-indigenous people need to take responsibility for their own cultural (and inter-cultural) competence
* we need to flip the narrative from looking from the perspective of a deficit framework to one that values, acknowledges and builds on what already exists.

As I am now studying and not yet working in a library context, the action points I have taken away from this event are to:
* endeavour to seek out, consider honour and incorporate the indigenous perspective into my studies as much as possible and as appropriate.
* take a cultural competency course.
* find out (and at some point, contact) the indigenous community/representative in my community and the community (ies) where I work.


Australian Library and Information Association. (n.d.). Event details: ALIA Leadership and Innovation Forum 2018 – NSW. Retrieved from
Parnell, L. (2018). Liz at the library: Reflections. Retrieved from

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