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Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Indigenous Evaluation Committee members

Indigenous AffairsEvaluations and EvidenceIndigenous Evaluation Committee
Friday, 24 April 2020
Publication author(s):
National Indigenous Australians Agency
Chair – Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter

Maggie Walter

Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter is a member of the Briggs/Johnson family and a descendant of the Pairrebeenne people from Tebrakunna country in North Eastern Tasmania.

Maggie is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania and her research focusses on the fields of race relations, Indigenous data and Indigenous methods and methodologies.

Professor Walter is passionate about improving the position of Indigenous peoples in Australian society and changing the dynamics and narrative of Indigenous/non-Indigenous race relations. She is heavily involved in the Indigenous Data Sovereignty movement and is a founding member of the Maiam nayri Wingara Indigenous Data Sovereignty Collective and on the Executive Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA).

Professor Walter is widely published in her fields of research. She is the editor and co-author of the best-selling Social Research Methods (4 editions OUP); co-author of Indigenous statistics: a quantitative methodology (Routledge 2013) and the co-editor/co-author of Indigenous Children Growing Up Strong (Palgrave McMillan 2017).

Professor Walter has a long pre-academic career in the public service, working in the Department of Social Security and other Federal Government Departments from 1980 until 1999. During this time she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Social Welfare) from Charles Sturt University in 1994 and a Bachelor of Social Work (1st Class Honours) from the University of Tasmania in 1998.  Professor Walter was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Sociology) from the University of Tasmania in 2003 and joined the University of Tasmania as an academic in 2002, first in Aboriginal Studies, and then in 2004 moved to the School of Social Sciences.

Independent Member – Dr Anthony Dillon

Originally from Queensland, Anthony is a registered psychologist and currently works as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney.

Dr Dillon is proud of both his Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestry and is actively involved in research into the areas of mental health and Indigenous well-being. This has enabled him to lecture to university students and different community groups on a range of Indigenous topics. He is active as a social commentator on Indigenous issues, having had several thought provoking articles published in The Australian Newspaper, The Conversation, and the ABC Drum online.

Independent Member – Dr Wendy Jarvie

Dr Wendy Jarvie is an Adjunct Professor in the Public Sector Research Group, School of Business, University of New South Wales Canberra where she undertakes research in public policy and learning from evaluation, as well as working for the World Bank in the Pacific on early childhood development and vocational education programs.

Dr Jarvie has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation in the Australian Government and in the World Bank in Washington. She spent seven years (2001- 2008) as a Deputy Secretary in the Commonwealth Departments of Education, Science and Training and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. In the World Bank (1998-2001) she was a manager of corporate evaluations in the Operations Evaluation Department.

She has had long engagement with Indigenous communities, policy and programs, including seven years’ oversight of Australian Government Aboriginal education programs, and five years (2003–2007) as co-chair of the steering committee for the COAG trial in Murdi Paaki. She is currently chairing the steering committee for the evaluation of the Opportunity, Choice, Healing, Responsibility, Empowerment (OCHRE) program for the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Independent Member – Dr Fiona Cram

Dr Fiona CramDr Fiona Cram is an Ngāti Pahauwera woman from Aotearoa New Zealand. Dr Cram is a prominent Maori evaluator with expertise in Indigenous led research and evaluation.

Dr Cram has a PhD in social and developmental psychology from the University of Otago. She has lectured in Social Psychology and has also been a Senior Research Fellow within the International Research Institute of Māori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland. In the middle of 2003, Fiona established Katoa Ltd, which is a Māori Indigenous research organisations as well as offering a range of research and evaluation training.

Dr Cram’s research interests are wide-ranging including Māori health, justice, and education. The over-riding theme of Fiona's work is Kaupapa Māori (by Māori, for Māori). Fiona is Editor-in-Chief of the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) new evaluation journal, Evaluation Matters - He Take Tō Te Aromatawai, published by the NZCER.

Ex-officio Member – Mr Blair Exell

Mr Blair ExellMr Blair Exell is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and is responsible for the Policy and Programs Portfolio.  

Blair joined the Agency in 2018 after over 25 years working on international development in policy, program and emergency/humanitarian roles. He has worked in not for profit organisations, as well as government roles in AusAID, DFAT and the NIAA based with his family in Canberra, South East Asia and the Pacific.

Blair has been Australia’s Senior Aid representative in Cambodia, Solomon Islands and Indonesia. He is the former Ambassador for Regional Health Security and has served as co-chair of the Interdepartmental Task Force for the 2014 West Africa Ebola Response.

Blair graduated in Economics in 1991 from the Australian National University.

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