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Trailer - Voices of Power

Indigenous Churchill Fellows from around Australia share their views and experiences on the key influences and events that have shaped Australia’s history, and on what a strong future looks like.

Voices of Power looks at the calls for a strong First Nations voice in Australia’s political and cultural life. Will those calls be answered?

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In these three podcasts Indigenous Churchill Fellows discuss First Nations voice and representation in art galleries and museums — powerful places which tell the story of Australia’s identity.

Churchill fellows

Michelle Deshong

Hannah McGlade

Parry Agius

Donisha Duff

Cara Kirkwood

  • Michelle Deshong

    Michelle was awarded a 2017 Churchill Fellowship to research best practice on Indigenous governance and leadership models in the US, Canada and New Zealand.

    Michelle is a Kuku Yalanji woman from Queensland and has a BA (with First Class Honours) in Political Science and Indigenous Studies and is currently working on her PhD looking at Aboriginal women in public and political life.

    She recently retired as CEO of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute and is now the Managing Director of Deshong Consultancy. She has extensive experience in leadership, governance and politics and has held many senior leadership roles in government and NGO sectors.

    Her Churchill Fellowship report covered topics such as: Sovereignty and how nations operate in sovereign ways; self-determination; governance models; political participation, constitutional recognition, treaties, shared histories and truth-telling, comparison of the political and legal position of Australian First Nations and that of other First Nations.

  • Hannah McGlade

    Hannah was awarded a 2020 Churchill Fellowship to investigate the establishment and foundation of the Sami parliaments particularly the extent of their vested power, responsibility and representative structure in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

    Hannah is a Noongar legal academic and practitioner with special interest in Indigenous human rights. 

    She is currently an Associate Professor at Curtin University and her research interests include: Indigenous human rights, with focus on women and children; Aboriginal mental health and healing; constitutional reform; and race discrimination law. Hannah is a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and is also the winner of the AIATSIS Stanner Award for her work Our greatest challenge: Aboriginal children and human rights.

    She has not yet undertaken her Churchill Fellowship travel.

  • Parry Agius

    Parry was awarded a 2004 Churchill Fellowship to visit a range of Indigenous governments, parliaments and councils in Norway, Sweden, Canada and the US  to research strategies for organising and empowering Indigenous people. 

    Parry has connections to the Ngarrandjeri, Narungga, Andynamathanaha, Ngaduri and Far West Coast Wirangu nations in South Australia. He is the Managing Director of Linking Futures, a company that supports companies and government to meet Indigenous procurement targets and enhance their relationship with Indigenous Australians. 

    He has a strong background in community development, native title, natural resource management and primary industries. He has held senior positions including CEO of  South Australian Native Title Services; Executive Officer, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, Native Title Unit; and Regional Manager, Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health, Port Augusta.

    His Churchill Fellowship report covered topics such as: Indigenous representative governing structures; traditional decision making processes and traditional decision makers; treaties; constitutional recognition; land rights and native title.

  • Donisha Duff

    Donisha was awarded a 2015 Bob & June Prickett Churchill Fellowship to investigate chronic kidney disease programs for Aboriginal First Nations peoples.

    She is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman from Thursday Island, has familial links with Moa and Badu Islands and is a Yadhaigana/Wuthathi Aboriginal traditional owner of Cape York.

    Donisha is Adjunct Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University and the COO at the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health. 

    She has more than 20 years’ experience in health policy planning and management with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs.

    Her Churchill Fellowship report covered topics such as: First Nations poverty, education programs, screening of children, intervention programs, cultural programs and political participation.

    Donisha was a former Adviser (Indigenous Health) to Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health. She is also a former member of the AIATSIS Council (2015–20).

  • Cara Kirkwood

    Cara was awarded a 2020 Churchill Fellowship to research how Indigenous peoples, cultures and values are embedded throughout colonised parliaments in New Zealand, New Caledonia, Canada, Norway and Finland.

    Cara is a Mandandanji woman and the Head of Indigenous Engagement and Strategy at the National Gallery of Australia. She has worked extensively as an advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, art and culture.

    She has not yet undertaken her Churchill Fellowship travel. 

Host and narrator

Craig Ritchie, the host of the series, is an Aboriginal man of the Dhunghutti and Biripi nations and is the CEO at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Learn more.

Vic Simms, the narrator of the series, is a Bidjigal man from Botany Bay in Sydney and a legendary and much-loved musician and songwriter. His first album The Loner has been described as Australia's 'great lost classic album of black protest music’.


Last updated: 28 June 2024